James Rolfe Bio

(American Online Personality and YouTuber Known for His Web Series ‘Angry Video Game Nerd’)

Birthday: July 10, 1980 (Cancer)

Born In: Penns Grove, New Jersey, United States

James Duncan Rolfe is a renowned American actor, filmmaker, video game and film critic, comedian, and internet celebrity who gained immense fame for creating and starring in the American comedy retrogaming web series, The Angry Video Game Nerd (AVGN). He started off filming reviews of Nintendo video games at an early age. Initially, he created the Angry Nintendo Nerd videos casually only to be shared and enjoyed among friends. Later, he uploaded these on his website Cinemassacre.com along with his friend-cum-collaborator, Mike Matei. By that time, he had already published many of the other videos that he had created on his own on Cinemassacre. Upon the insistence of Matei, James Rolfe uploaded the Nerd videos on YouTube where they garnered huge popularity, and eventually, the series became a program on GameTrailers and ScrewAttack, re-christened later as The Angry Video Game Nerd. He also made and starred in the film Angry Video Game Nerd: The Movie based on the web series. James Rolfe has been featured in several films like Stoney, Kickassia, and To Boldly Flee. He has also appeared in TV series like Cinemassacre's Monster Madness and James & Mike Mondays among others.

Quick Facts

Also Known As: James Duncan Rolfe

Age: 44 Years, 44 Year Old Males


Spouse/Ex-: April Rolfe

father: Scott Rolfe

mother: Marlene Rolfe

siblings: Gina Rolfe

Born Country: United States

Height: 5'11" (180 cm), 5'11" Males

Ancestry: Italian American

U.S. State: New Jersey

Notable Alumni: University Of The Arts

More Facts

education: University Of The Arts

Childhood & Early Life

James Duncan Rolfe was born on July 10, 1980, in Penns Grove, New Jersey, US, to Scott and Marlene Rolfe. He has a younger sister, Gina.

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As a child, he developed a knack for storytelling by taking pictures with his camera and pasting them on paper with a narrative about the story of the pictures.

He once received an audio recorder as a Christmas gift from his parents which later upgraded to a video camera, thus leading him to his passion for filmmaking.

He was an ardent collector of Nintendo Power magazines and was quite motivated by the American animated television series Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and video games like Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, and Contra that inspired him to create his own adventure stories.

He purchased a Panasonic AG-DVX100 camcorder while in his senior year of college and would awestruck his peers with videos shot with it. He would also illustrate comic books and keep updating them every month.

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In 1989, he began filming movies that saw him using Mario Paint in some of his initial efforts. He went on to continue his hobby in the early 1990s as well and then attended university to take up hand-drawn animation lessons.

According to James Rolfe, his independent video and film production company The CineMassacre Productions or Cinemassacre Productions LLC commenced in 1989. The website was however developed in 2000. There are two official YouTube channels for the company as well, namely, Cinemassacre Clips which has 482k subscribers, and Cinemassacre which entertains a crowd of over 3.74 million subscribers.

He used his backyard to shoot the horror film A Night of Total Terror in May 1996 which he considered "the turning point of my life."  Thereafter, he developed several other films till the turn of the 1990s.

In 2001, he made films like Cinemaphobia, two versions of which were made, a 10-minute one and a 15-minute one; the silent movie Kung Fu Werewolf from Outer Space including voice only for narration; and Stoney, a spoof of the 1976 film Rocky.

The following year, James Rolfe made a documentary short titled ROLFE: A No-Budget Dream where he played himself and essayed the role of a narrator in the short The Night Prowler.

His 2003 film Curse of the Cat Lover's Grave depicted three genres of horror in its three sections.

James Rolfe wrote, directed, edited, produced, and also played an uncredited role in the film/series pilot Jersey Odysseys: Legend of the Blue Hole (2004). He used his parent’s garage to shoot it where he used to conduct the annual "haunted house" Halloween attraction through high school. Several antiques and props used in the film were re-used in his later films as well.

He would casually create his earliest videos comprising the Nerd character to simply enjoy with friends. The basic concept of the character came to him while attending the University of the Arts of Philadelphia from 1999 to 2004.

The hobby of James Rolfe turned into his real breakthrough when he filmed a short review of the Nintendo game Castlevania II: Simon's Quest under the title of Bad NES Games in May 2004. He and his friend-cum-collaborator Mike Matei published those Angry Nintendo Nerd videos on Cinemassacre.com that year.

From 2004 to 2007, he took part in the 48 Hour Film Project and became the Audience Award Winner in 2007 for making Spaghetti Western. The films Death Suit (2004), Death Seen (2005), and Death Secret (2006) that form a trilogy were also part of the contest.

He designed a graveyard in his parent’s garage to shoot the horror-comedy flick The Deader, The Better released through Cinemassacre Productions on December 19, 2005. He essayed the role of Zombie in the film that paid tribute to yesteryear horror flick Night of the Living Dead (1968).

After being insisted by Matei, James Rolfe uploaded his Nerd videos on April 6, 2006, on the YouTube channel JamesNintendoNerd (presently called Cinemassacre). His character garnered immense mainstream popularity on September 12 that year after his review of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles surfaced on YouTube.

His Nerd videos eventually evolved into popular comedy retro-gaming web series with the original character’s name changed from The Angry Nintendo Nerd to The Angry Video Game Nerd to avoid trademark issues with Nintendo as he also commenced as a game reviewer of other consoles like Atari 2600 and Sega Genesis.

He portrays the title character of The Nerd in the series that became a program on GameTrailers and ScrewAttack in 2007. The character gained such popularity over time that it was featured in many other media like films and video games.

During 2008-09, James Rolfe’s character upped its fame through a fake feud with web comedian Doug Walker’s character Nostalgia Critic from the American review comedy web series bearing the same title.

James Rolfe along with Kevin Finn wrote and directed the American independent science fiction adventure comedy flick Angry Video Game Nerd: The Movie that premiered at Grauman's Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood on July 21, 2014.

The budget of the Angry Video Game Nerd: The Movie, which was based on the AVGN web series, amounted to over US$325,500 and was met totally out of crowdfunding. Rolfe played the title role of the Nerd in the film that saw an online release on September 2, 2014, through video-on-demand.

Some of the other films featuring him include His Name Was Jason (2009), Kickassia (2010), To Boldly Flee (2012), Plan 9 (2015), Shooting Clerks (2019), In Search of Darkness (2019), and In Search of Darkness: Part II (2020). In 2020, he wrote, produced, and directed the short comedy film The Head Returns where he also played the role of ‘Dr Memrix/Bob.’ The film received a 5.7 out of 10 rating on IMDb.

Over the years, he has been featured in many TV series, such as Cinemassacre's Monster Madness (2007-2016), Board James (2009–2013, 2015), OverAnalyzers (2011–2012), and James & Mike Mondays (2012-2020). In 2022, he made an appearance on the adult animated television series Smiling Friends. That same year, he also voiced ‘The Bad-Tempered Cinema Geek’ in the animated comedy web series Ollie & Scoops.

Personal Life & Legacy

James Rolfe married April Chmura, a cinematographer of his initial Nerd series episodes, in November 2007. Their first daughter was born in April 2013. On April 19, 2017, the couple announced on Twitter that they are expecting their second daughter. They welcomed their second daughter on September 1, 2017.

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