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Classic Gaming: AVGN and the bad games

Published: Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Updated: Wednesday, February 3, 2010 20:02

Like any form of entertainment, older video games often posess some level of nostalgia. Even in todays age of Wii and Playstation 3 games, people will often return to the games of their childhood. Though they are over 20 years old, games such as Super Mario Bros. 3 are often considered some of the best games of all time. Yet, like today, many poorly made games have been forgotten and are almost never mentioned in classic game reviews. That is, except for the internet based series, The Angry Video Game Nerd.

The Angry Video Game Nerd is a character, created by video game enthusist James D. Rolfe, who specializes in critiquing bad games, usually on older systems. Originally called The Angry Nintendo Nerd, the title of both the show and the character were changed to avoid legal issues with Nintendo.

The Angry Video Game Nerd (or AVGN for short) uploaded its first couple of episodes in 2006 where they quickly began to gain popularity. Usually deticating each episode to a single video game, Each five to ten minute episode is made up of clips of the video game in question and reaction shot of the AVGN, usually yelling the game with his trademark profanity filled rants. Several episodes would conclude with the AVGN going to extreme lengths to seemingly destroy the cartrage of the game.

Depending on the game being played, sometimes a character from the game will make a guest appearance on the show. Characters such as Freddy Krueger Spiderman, and the Cowardly Lion from The Wizard of Oz. Usually these guest characters (frequently played by Mike Matei a friend of Rolfe) enter in an attempt to provide additional commentary on the game, or in an attempt to convince the AVGN of the merits of his or her game, usually to no avail.

The success of the AVGN has even lead to the series winning an award at the 3rd annual Open Web Awards and a non video game centered rant about pennies being featured on CNN’s “News to Me” segment. The first three seasons have also been released through Screw Attack on DVD. While some of the footage has been removed to avoid copyright infringement, the DVDs include extended versions of some episodes and outtakes. According to Rolfe, the innital pressing of the first DVD set ended up selling out in less than a week.

Today, the AVGN series spans across five seasons, totaling 86 different episodes. With two new episodes on Screw Attack every month, and the latest episode being released On January 20th, the series shows no signs of stopping in the near future.

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