I’m assuming that most of us are familiar, at least by reputation, with James Rolfe – aka “The Angry Video-Game Nerd.” If not, in brief: He’s probably the first genuinely important video gaming commentator to emerge from the world of web videos. His hook: Rolfe – in character as a foul-mouthed nerd archetype – reviews infamously-awful vintage games, frequently as part of an over-arching comedy skit.
The humor and the ever-increasing retro-popularity for gaming obscura made the character an instant hit a few years back, though many initially dismissed him as yet another one-note Youtube phenomenon; he quickly revealed himself as something much more: A remarkably insightful critic and historian of gaming arcana. The Nerd’s focus is almost-exclusively on games of the pre-Playstation era, and – by intent or not – the specific “game-is-bad-must-beat-it-anyway” rage that is his trademark is itself a recognizable relic to Gamers Of A Certain Age: The masochism of having bought/been given a stinker and forcing yourself through it anyway because… well, what ELSE were you going to play?
As part of that broader nostalgia trip, occasionally The Nerd lets (some) of the angry-cussin’ veneer drop for episodes that are more like history lessons, and in his newest episode he’s tackled a doozy: “Swordquest,” the epic (failed) Atari 2600 experiment in which a (planned) series of four games were to be played as part of clue-hunt through tie-in comics that would yield players prizes in the form of real gold-cast “treasures” valued at tens of thousands of dollars. Unfortunately, the Crash of 83 cut the whole event off in the middle; leaving behind dissapointed fans and a two decade long unsolved mystery involving – yes – a lost sword.
Just watch the video, which I’d say is easily one of the best episodes he’s ever done…
How nuts is that, right? It’s like the pre-title backstory to one of the “National Treasure” movies!