The Nerd Room is the Nerd's gaming room, man cave and office where he reviews all the bad games. So far, there have been three Nerd Rooms. The layouts of the rooms are constantly changing, and the poster locations are constantly changing as well.
After finishing college, James Rolfe moved back to his parents' house into his old bedroom. Rolfe had made many movies in the house and it's outskirts. To ward off boredom, Rolfe made two "Bad NES Games" satirical game reviews, Castlevania II: Simon's Quest, and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, which retrospectively became the pilots for the Angry Video Game Nerd. While the first one was entirely game footage with narration, the second one was primarily live-action. The Nerd appeared sitting beside his computer, in front of a closet. Behind the computer, a poster of Stonehenge at sunset was set on the wall, while a flyer of some sort was taped to one of the closet doors.
The First Nerd Room (February 10 2006 - January 2007)
In the summer of 2004, Rolfe moved into an apartment with his girlfriend, his now wife April. The apartment had a spare room, where Rolfe kept the remains of his game collection from his youth, having sold most of his games when he was younger. The room originally held bean bags and a hammock, but was later filled with video games and movies. The room was mostly filled with shelves full of VHS's and decorated with movie posters, which, like the video game posters, were spread throughout the apartment. By August 2006, Rolfe put a futon in the room. The video games were originally kept to a corner of the room, Nintendo consoles hooked up to the family TV that Rolfe inherited from his parents (decorated with various stickers, most prominent of all a WYSP WOW Opie & Anthony sticker), all set up on a small 2-row dark wood shelf. Later on, after cruising flea markets, eBay, and his friend/co-writer Mike Matei giving part of his collection to Rolfe so to make more videos, the game collection grew, and took up most of the lower part the walls that faced the futon, opposite of where it was originally placed.
While the original setup was transferred to the wall (the N64 wasn't atop the NES anymore, and the bottom row was occupied by a Dreamcast, Top Loading NES and a PSOne with a Thundercats sticker on the disc lid), by the side of a light wood 3-row shelf; the upper row was filled with two VCRs and a DVDR stacked on top of each other (which were used for editing, and probably to record game footage) & various gaming objects, the middle row was filled with NES games, the bottom row with Atari systems (two 2600s, a Jaguar and both Lynx models). To the right of the original shelf where two beer boxes (the top one held some Master System/Genesis/32X games, the lower one miscellaneous stuff, including the N64 and the TurboGrafx-16 Arcade Controller) with the FZ-10 3DO on top, to the right of the boxes were two crates, each holding a Sega console (the upper one the Master System, the lower one the Genesis/CD/32X combination perched atop another VCR). On the window wall, some plastic boxes (both split in two sections by a piece of cardboard) and an old Super Mario Bros. chest held the rest of Rolfe's collection; the rightmost box (with a 5200 on top) - the top row held 3DO games, the bottom row PS1 and 2600/5200 games (Rolfe kept the 2600 games he owned since childhood in a kitten bag), the leftmost box (with two shoeboxes of SNES games on top) - the Dreamcast box, assorted controllers on top and the 5200 Trackball controller on the bottom); the Miracle Piano was kept somewhere to left of the leftmost box. A Rolling Rock box full of peripherals (such as the Power Glove) was inbetween the plastic boxes and the shelves (Rolfe also kept two other Rolling Rock boxes, contents unknown, between the shelf and the wall). Miscellaneous late 80s-early 90s Nintendo merchandise and Nintendo Power issues were spread throughout the room. A bottle of Windex was always by the side of the game collection, in case a cartridge needed cleaning.
Other furniture used in the room include: A cushioned red chair, a red rug, another light wood 3-row shelf (identical to the one used in the gaming set up, this one held tapes and a projector was set up on top of it, right in front of the blank wall above the video games) and a 6-row "inclined" shelf (filled with VHSs of individual episodes of Star Trek TOS). Other rooms in the apartment include the living room, where Rolfe's kept his computer and silver flatscreen CRT, and the bedroom, where he kept a small grey CRT.
Rolfe also made "Wizard of Oz 3: Dorothy Goes to Hell", "Angry Nintendo Nerd - Theme song recording", his entries to ScrewAttack's "Movie Quote of the Week" & "Toilet Tuesday" series, "The Anger Begins" (post-production), "Wii Salute", "What Was I Thinking?" and "Chronologically Confused About the Legend of Zelda Timeline" (except the intro) in this apartment.
The Second Nerd Room (January 2007 - June 2008)
Duration: TMNT 3 - Superman 64
After switching editing jobs, Rolfe and his fiancée moved to a different, smaller apartment, which led to changes in the series' production. Due to lack of space, Rolfe kept his game collection and his computer on the same room; because of this, an entire wall of the room had to be kept out of frame in the AVGN episodes, and Rolfe resorted to covering his walls with video game posters and changing them constantly to cheat the size of the room, outside of video game posters, for a time Rolfe also hung his "The Creature From the Black Lagoon" poster (signed by Ben Chapman) in the locker door and, on the "Star Trek" video, switched the video game posters for the Enterprise blueprints. The futon wasn't kept in room, also because of space reasons, and for most of the videos the Nerd was either on the floor (which was covered by the red rug), sitting in the computer chair or (in the case of "Silver Surfer" and "Christmas Carol Part 2") in the red circular chair. The computer table occasionally crept in some shots, appearing most prominently in the "Spider-Man" and "Rambo" episodes; the only times where the computer corner of the room was on shot was on the "Atari 5200" video and Rolfe's out of character introduction to "Chronologically Confused About the Legend of Zelda Timeline". On the computer side of the room, Rolfe displayed his Jason mask (signed by Kane Hodder and Betsy Palmer), the Freddy glove (with hat), the Christmas Carol top hat and the Nintendo Power title card.
By the time Rolfe moved to this apartment, his gaming setup had changed. The silver flatscreen TV was now the centerpiece (and decorated with ScrewAttack logos), the bottom row of the 2-row dark wood shelf now kept only power strips and RCA splitters, the shelf where he kept his projector (the same type as the light wood 3-row shelf) was now part of the setup, the editing VCRs of the original light wood 3-row shelf were taken out, and a large wooden shelf (divided into two segments: The left a spacious 2-row one, the top row kept Nintendo Power issues, the bottom one Master System games, Sega CD games, the Dreamcast box and 3DO games; the right a compact 4-row one, which originally kept all the games Rolfe owned, as well as a disc spindle) was placed atop the whole setup. Beer boxes were kept atop the large shelf; 2 late 80s-early 90s Super Mario Bros. lunchboxes where placed between the shelf and the wall. The room only had one electrical outlet, which led Rolfe to resort to running down a plug to the kitchen outlet down the hallway to power the games (the computer and related apparatus took up the room's outlet). The family TV was placed on a plank of wood on top of the heater (which is under the window), the TV was occasionally used to play older systems.
By this point, Rolfe's game collection had increased significantly, in great part because he started receiving fan donated games. Over time, Rolfe had to change his setup to accommodate all the games he owned, at some point he divided the bottom row of the spacious side of the shelf into a small 3-row setup to put in more NES/DS games, he had to resort to using beer boxes as makeshift shelves again to hold his Sega and Atari games (as well as some Nintendo ones), which were put on top of the large shelf; they, alongside the actual boxes of stuff that Rolfe owned (such as the Odyssey 2, the U-Force and the Sega CD), made his game collection hit the ceiling of the room; The 4 rows of the main shelf where mostly occupied by Nintendo games (except the top one, which was occupied by Atari ones). 2 boxes, filled with jewel case games, were kept left of the heater. The inclined shelf, originally used for work-related video tapes, was filled out with various types of boxed games (Neo Geo, Saturn, N64, longbox PlayStation, Vectrex, loose Odyssey 2) as well as video game tips & tricks VHSs & books and loose VHSs. At some point the family TV was taken out and replaced by the small grey CRT TV. At some point Rolfe had to buy a 5-drawer dark wood dresser to hold more stuff (it first appears on "The Wizard/Super Mario Bros. 3"), he kept his Vectrex and a Pac-Man glass beer mug on top of it. Rolfe mentioned on the tour of the room included on the Volume 2 DVD that it "got very ridiculous looking at the end".
Although "Superman 64" was the last episode to be shot in this room, the first scene of the episode is the only one clearly set on it (and was possibly shot with the rest of the previous episode, "Superman", alongside one of the Nostalgia Critic feud rebuttals), while the Commodore 64 segment is clearly set on the following room and the rest of the episode could have been made in either location.
The Third Nerd Room (July 2008 - present)
Duration: Batman - Present
Although "Superman 64" was the first episode to be shot in this room, the DVD version of "Virtual Boy" includes shots that were very clearly set on this room (with some partially disguised), making "Virtual Boy" the first episode to be shot in this room, retrospectively.
The current Nerd room is located in Rolfe's basement in his current home in Philadelphia, walled off from the wider basement by wooden walls. The room is drastically different from the other rooms, with wooden walls and a tiled floor; it's also the one that Rolfe modified the most, making it the one with the hardest to grasp layout. At first, the games took all the space on the walled off section of the basement, but at some point, Rolfe walled off the entrance to make a replica of a video store (which includes some NES games in protective plastic cases); this caused the games to occupy a more cramped space than before. Another major part of the room is that, besides using stand-alone shelves, Rolfe was able to built wall mounted shelves in the room, which have gotten rid of the beer boxes (although at some point he did store spare connector cables in beer boxes in a closet, which is now part of the video store).
Once again, the old gaming setup was brought in whole (with some alterations over time), but Rolfe also made two other gaming setups: One for pre-NES consoles (mostly Pong ones), centered around the family TV and set on a large shelf on wheels (with smaller shelves on top) set on the wall to the right of the main setup. The other, placed on a writing desk, is for Commodore computers (mainly the 64, but the Vic-20 is also kept there), Rolfe keeps his 2 disk drives and his cassette drive in; he used a Commodore monitor for a large amount of time (and at some point taped the LOAD"*",8,1 command to it), but at some point switched it to the small grey CRT TV (and also taped the LOAD"*",8,1 to it); this setup was originally set on the wall opposite the old console setup, after the video store was built, it was moved to the left of the main setup, and the Vectrex and a LaserDisc player were added to it.
While the shelves of the original setup kept their original placement, their contents changed arrangement a bit: The VCR/DVR/2 RCA splitters/PS2 row was moved from the right shelf to the left one, the Top Loading NES (although is still hooked up) was replaced by a Nintoaster (an old-school toaster modified to play NES games) that is always sticking out of the lower row of the left shelf as Rolfe's system of choice to play NES, the CD-i takes up an entire subrow, The TV shelf only has Atari consoles (7800 & Jaguar with CD add-on). The left segment of the shelf above the setup is taken by the bulk of Rolfe's SNES collection.
Besides building wall mounted shelves, Rolfe also got 2 standalone shelves for large collections - one for his near complete collection of loose NES games (tough the top rows are filled with boxed Atari accessories & Game Boys), the other for Atari games.
The contents of the wall mounted shelves have changed over time. Now the shelf behind the futon seems to be taken up mostly by Sega games - of the 6 rows, only 2 seem to hold no Sega games. The non-Sega games have a wide variety: Intellivision/ColecoVision (both loose and boxed), Commodore (boxed Vic-20, boxed & loose C64 both disk & tape, loose Amiga disks), Aquarius, Studio II, some boxed 2600/NES, Neo-Geo (AES & MVS), an assortment of not-too-recent-but-not-too-old titles, Action Max VHSs, tabletop arcade units (1 Game & Watch and 5 Coleco ones), jewel case games. The right wall shelf holds some overflow games, assorted Nintendo (boxed NES, loose & boxed N64, DS), 3DO and longbox CD-i.
After the entrance to the basement was walled off for the video store, shelves were built on the new walls - the one close to the main gaming setup is filled with overflow from the Sega and Nintendo collection, the one close to the dedicated shelves is filled with Game Boy games.
Rolfe bought another drawer to hold more game stuff. The drawer used to be to the left of the main setup, but switched places with the writing desk after the video store was built. The space where the drawer is placed is constantly filled to the top with game boxes (even when the Commodore stuff was there).
When Rolfe first moved in, he put posters in the room, mixing game and movie ones (similarly to what he did with the first room). However, as his game collection started to take the walls of the room, the posters gradually vanished, the few still remaining are placed in awkward spots, blocked off by furniture or boxes.
Even after the video store replica was built, some video stuff still is present in the room, like the LaserDisc & Beta players. Rolfe also has a Rolling Rock clock mounted on the wall, which, while not necessarily game related, fits in with the Nerd persona.
Rolfe has since demolished the walled off video store section, and opened the entire room back up for video games. He has built a new video store in another part of the basement.
This Nerd Room was virtually recreated in the AVGN Video Game Project