Feature Article

Angry Video Game Nerd Christmas Special 2010

Created by James Nintendo Nerd (James Rolfe)

With Music By Bear McCreary

Reviewed by Melissa Minners

            I had never heard of the Angry Video Game Nerd when I received an email about the Angry Video Game Nerd Christmas Special, also known as How the Nerd Stole Christmas, featuring music composed by Bear McCreary.  Being a fan of Bear McCreary and his musical compositions for television, movies and video games, I just had to check it out.

            The Angry Video Game Nerd, also known as AVGN or The Nerd, is the main character in a series of what amounts to animated video rants about retro video games and their graphics, or lack thereof, and poor game designs.  James Rolfe’s nerd reviews began when he was a child, reviewing video games from the late 80s and early 90s.  He started earning some recognition for these reviews when he created a video review of Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest in 2004.  His video reviews were published on Cinemassacre.com and later aired on YouTube.com.  The videos soon gained popularity and Rolfe began producing more, sometimes reviewing retro gamer equipment as well as gaming systems and video games.  He’s grown quite a fan base, which apparently includes Bear McCreary.

            The Angry Video Game Nerd Christmas Special 2010 is James Rolfe’s AVGN take on Dr. Seuss How the Grinch Stole Christmas, featuring the Angry Video Game Nerd as the Grinch.  This is not the first time Rolfe has taken on a Christmas classic and made it his own.  In 2007, Rolfe created his own version of Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol

            In this episode, The Nerd is angry at the happy outlook of the people of Gameville as they wait in joyful hope for Christmas.  Thinking back to all of the horrible games he had received every Christmas and knowing that the people of Gameville were destined to receive wonderful games with excellent game design, graphics, music and gameplay, The Nerd has decided to do something about Christmas this year.  He’s going to go to town on Christmas Eve and swap all of his awful games he owns for the excellent games the Gameville residents were about to receive. 

            He ties a tree branch to the head of his black cat, sews together a Santa suit and sets off on his task.  He is incredibly pleased with himself until he realizes that he hasn’t upset anyone in Gameville.  He hears laughter and beeps and boops and cheering and sound of happiness and realizes that Christmas came after all.  He realizes that these bad video games weren’t so bad after all.  Of course, in true Grinch fashion he returns all the gifts to Gameville and enjoys the Christmas celebration.

            Bear McCreary’s musical composition for the twelve-minute video included a new arrangement of the classic You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch, but also incorporated retro video game sounds in addition to portions of music from other Christmas classics.  These served to enhance the video by Jeff Rolfe.  I especially loved when The Nerd was climbing down the chimney to the tones of Super Mario Bros. sound effects.

            Of course, as enjoyable as the Angry Video Game Nerd’s How the Nerd Stole Christmas was, I must remind all you adults out there that this is not a video for kids.  The Nerd often uses some harsh language to express himself and you would want to keep sensitive ears away from the explicit language found here.  But for those of us who have played most of the games he rants about as kids, this Christmas special is hilarious!  So, attention all you video gamers of the 80s and 90s, visit http://www.cinemassacre.com/2010/12/08/avgn-episode-97-christmas-special-2010/ and check out How the Nerd Stole Christmas for yourself.  You won’t be disappointed!


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