Warning: The video in this entry contains NSFW language.
It’s a scene familiar to anyone who has owned an NES. You’ve worked hard doing your homework, mowing the lawn, and cleaning the kitchen. Your $5 worth of allowance isn’t much, but a trip down to the local video store to rent a new Nintendo game makes the past week’s indignities all worth it. You change to channel 3, blow off the connectors and press power. Suddenly, it all goes horribly wrong.
What was hoped to be a break from our workaday world becomes a personal hell of poor graphics, annoying sound and sisyphean controls. You wish you could put it down, but you don’t want your $5 to be spent in vain. You have entered the world of the Angry Video Game Nerd.
James D. Rolfe created the character of The Angry Video Game Nerd as a joke for his friends. Today the series is nothing short of a phenomenon. It’s the 5th most subscribed series on youtube and 5th most viewed overall. For years companies have looked to make a quick buck off video game fans by pushing out substandard games to make the Christmas rush or to coincide with a movie release. Usually we have game magazines to help us sort out the good games from the bad but some stinkers always make it through. The Angry Video Game Nerd is zeitgeist, an avenging spirit to all of us who at one time or another got shafted to make the bottom line of of companies like Acclaim, Bandai, or LJN.
Sometimes the games are so horrible that they conjure up evil spirits in the form of special guest stars. The Nerd has fought Bugs Bunny, Freddy Kreuger, the Joker and Hallowe’en’s Michael Myers among others in his quest to defeat the malformed games of days gone by. The episodes usually end with a crescendo of profanity and a usually creative and hilarious way of destroying the offending game cartridge.
Some people might criticize the nerd for his use of profanity and scatological references. However, most of us who are old enough to remember the humiliation of renting or buying these game are quickly passing the age of 30. The makers of these games made a living fleecing kids out of their allowances. We need an adult response to provide closure for the consumer scars of the past. We need to see our rage blaze across the screen like a righteous fire. We need the Nerd.