The Angry Video Game Nerd (AVGN) is an American comedy retro-gaming web series, created by and starring James Rolfe. The series centers on Rolfe’s character “The Nerd”, a short-tempered and foul-mouthed video game fanatic who delivers commentary and sketches on retro games he considers to be of poor quality. The show would later encompass reviews of gaming consoles, peripherals, and short lectures about video game history and culture.
Starting out as an independent filmmaker, Rolfe intended for his earliest videos of the Nerd character to be a joke privately shown to his friends. With collaboration from his friend Mike Matei, Rolfe put the Angry Nintendo Nerd videos on his website, Cinemassacre.com, in 2004. In 2006, Matei persuaded Rolfe to put his work on YouTube, where it got popular. In 2007, the series became a program on ScrewAttack and GameTrailers, where it was renamed The Angry Video Game Nerd to prevent trademark issues with Nintendo, and to allow Rolfe to also review games from non-Nintendo consoles.
The Angry Video Game Nerd was a success and has gained a cult following, as well as the character appearing in various other media such as a feature-length film, various video games, and public appearances. Considered as one of the pioneering internet reviewers in its history, the Nerd was highly influential in bringing online video reviews to the mainstream public.