The net is full of online reviews. In the last years, a special kind of review has established a steady position and fanbase: reviews that take the games lightly and review with a little twist. We did an interview with the father of these kinds of reviews, non other than James Rolfe, the Angry Video Game Nerd. He's taken us back to the past and shown us more shitty games that suck ass, than we we can count. And now, he's talking about his work on and off the Nerd.
GameRadio: Hello this is Karl Kröber for GameRadio.de and we have a special guest tonight, namely James Rolfe, better known as the Angry Video Game Nerd. For the people who don't know him, James, could you introduce yourself?
James: Well, It's kinda difficult actually . I'm known on the Internet as the Angry Video Game Nerd. It's just a satirical show, just making fun of old video games. Like retro games from the late eighties, early nineties usually. That's basically about it.
GameRadio: As you said, your most known character is the Nerd, so most of the people listening to this interview probably want to know some things about the Nerd. So we have a few questions for him - in character. Mario or Sonic?
James: Mario or Sonic? Sonic for speed, Mario for Longevity.
GameRadio: You would piss of the fans if you'd decide for on?
James: Decide for one? I would go with mario, personally. But that's just me.
GameRadio: How famous is the Nerd, are there standing people on your lawn and holding signs "Yeah James, make love to me". How is it?
James: Well just the fact that I'm talking to people overseas is interesting, because I never would've expected it to get this popular. I'm not even aware of it half the time, but I get recognized in public a lot and it always catches me off-guard. I'm fine with it, I don't mind it , it's just very interesting how things have changed.
GameRadio: I don't know if you know Homestarrunner.com, these two guys who are doing flash videos. They can actually live off their creations, they live off the merchandise. Is it the case with the Nerd too?
James: I'm not like rich and superfamous or anything like that . But internet popularity definitely is a new kind of celebrity, because it's not like your famous on TV, but on the internet people have access to your stuff. It's just amazing how much it's been seen around the world. It's just free access for anybody, the biggest exposure I could've ever imagined.
GameRadio: Do you actually do any promotion for the Nerd. Do you go to other sites and say "Hey guys, do you people want my videos?" or do the people come to you.
James: You know, I have been asked that alot. And to tell you the truth: people have always come to me. I never actually have promoted it - that's not one of my strenghts. I'm all about just making the videos. That's all I do, I just made the videos as a little joke and it spread like wildfire.
GameRadio: This wildfire has to be caused by something so what do you think is the Nerd's appeal?
James: I think alot of it has to do with people who can relate to the games I play. They remember the same games from the past. They were frustrated. And then when I go into depth and talk about how they're frustating - It's almost therapeutic. And also some people like to be enlightened to certain kind of consoles. When you're talking about vintage electronics there's all this weird gadgets. There's like the Intellivision, the Intellivoice Voice Synthesis Module. For the first time there was speaking in games. I think people find it interesting to watch something like that. I guess, I'm just thinking out loud what the appeal is. I guess people just find it funny and that's why I've been continuing to make the videos. The fact that people have encouraged me to make them. So basically, collectively, all the fans on the internet are what created the Nerd.
GameRadio: All the games you are reviewing are a little older, the most recent one was a Wii game, but only in a special episode. What's the Nerd's oppinion on the current game market and especially hardcore-gamers/casual-gamers and all this terms that are being thrown around?
James: I think casual-gamer would be a little more apt for me. I'm like a hardcore-retro-gamer, I'm really living in the past. When I say in the theme-song "He's gonna take you back to the past", it really means it. I really am stuck in the past. I do play some current generation games but when I do, it's on my leisure time, which there's not very much of . Pretty much I'm to busy playing old crappy games than playing new games.
GameRadio: Your fans are a little divided so to speak. Some of your fans really like the acting parts, the over-the-top parts with Robot-Jesus turning up. But other people are just more into the basic acting things. Where you're just in front of the TV and saying bad things about the games. So how are you going to develop the show, are you keeping a balance?
James: Yeah, they're all gonna be different. Every episode will have it's own flavor I guess. The core route of the videos is just analyzing the game, going into depth, picking out all kinds of unneccessary details and just dissecting it. The core, where the video stems from, is the game. But whenever I feel that it would be appropriate to lighten it up some more. Especially when I find that the review part is lacking, I will add some theatrics to it, to spice it up.
GameRadio: Your earlier Nerd movies sometimes hat some kind of a Plot. In your Friday the 13th movie you found the Power Glove and the next video was about the Power Glove. Normally your Nerd videos are one shots. Nerd reviews a game - and no real continuity. Are you planning on bringing this continuity into your videos?
James: Most of the videos stand on their own. I usually treat each video as if somebody were to see that own on it's own. But I do like the cliffhanger thing, there are some that have continuity. Actually the next ones coming up will have continuity. It depends on the game.
GameRadio: Nerd-aside, what was your biggest project up to date?
James: Biggest project would probably be "The Deadder the Better". It's a zombie film. It sort of hints at things that I wanna do in the future. It's a short film, I haven't actually made any feature length ones. But I've made hundreds of short films. The video that actually explains it the best is called "Cinemassacre 200". You can find that on my website cinemassacre.com. "Cinemassacre 200" sums up what I've done, I've made a variety of stuff. The Nerd was a little side project. But now it's like my main thing. Sometime in the near future I'll get back to work on some other films without stopping the Nerd. I'm doing the Nerd as long as I can.
GameRadio: You're doing Director-work, like in "The Deadder the Better" and you're doing actor-work, like with the Nerd. What do you like to do more, directing the movies, editing the movies or standing in front of the camera?
James: I like being behind the camera most of the time. Now that the Nerd has happened there's no way I can escape it. There's no way I can escape it. I'm infront of the camera as the Nerd, I'm editing it - I'm doing the whole thing. But it's simple to do, because I don't need a crew. It's something that I can do by myself. The whole thing is really my voice, but most of the time I prefer wrting, directing and editing. Now I'm kinda tired of editing and I'd rather have someone else to do it .
GameRadio: One of your ongoing series is Monster Madness, this year you had Godzillathon, you reviewed every Godzilla movie. How is that going to continue?
James: Oh well, it's a big project trying to do that. I'm planning to do it next year, that's all I can say. I don't know for fact if I am, 'cause it's kind of like a side thing. But it is a big marathon. It's called Monster madness and it really is madness, trying to put the whole thing together.
GameRadio: How do you feel about censorship and violence and protection of the youth in the media?
James: Huh, I'm kinda numb to it now, because of my age now. When I was very young, I was more interested in this kind of games. I really never even think about it. As long as they have rating and as long they are able to control it, there's no need to censor anything.
GameRadio: What game do you play currently?
James: Like a current game? The last game I really played alot was "GTA 4", on the 360.
GameRadio: Ok, that was our interview, would you like to say something to your fans, especially the German ones?
James: Keep watching! The fanbase is what keeps me going. You've created the Nerd, you've fed the Nerd. Thanks a lot, enjoy the videos!
#1 | Atin
[05.01. | 12:31]
Angry Video Game Nerd - Interview (english) Kurt, dein Akzent ist echt grausam^^. Trotzdem ein klasse Interview, James rockt einfach alles weg! Interessant, dass er das mit seiner Stimme angesprochen hat, denn die ist doch voll ultra. Aber das geht wohl jedem so, dass die eigene Stimme immer Mist klingt, wenn man sie selber hört.
#2 | Russist
[05.01. | 13:23]
James You`re da man James ist einfach ein Klasse typ er mag die gleichen games wie ich :D
#3 | dmxezz
[05.01. | 19:40]
Yeah Dieser Typ ist einfach klasse!!
Seine Schauspielkunst und sein Humor und diese Idee ist zusammen einfach eine riesen Lach BOMBE.
Aber irgendwie hört er sich an, als wäre er MÜDE geworden. Das bedrückt mich schon als Fan!