PlayStation Network Hits Reality TV Low With The Tester

Reality TV has gotten a lot of mileage out of helping aspiring young people achieve their greatest dreams of becoming a fashion model, a pop singer, a chef and a…video game tester?

Sony is making its first big move towards challenging Microsoft/Xbox Live in the original content market with the upcoming series The Tester, a series produced by reality vets 51 Minds that will offer 11 contestants aged 22-36 a chance to win $5,000 cash and a job as a game tester at Sony Computer Entertainment America. The show will be downloadable for free on the PlayStation Network beginning Feb. 18.

Some may share Penny Arcade’s perspective on the contest, as video game testing, while definitely a viable way of breaking into the industry, is hardly considered to be a lifestyle full of glamour. The job typically pays $10-$12 an hour and involves long monotonous hours of repetitive gameplay that often will kill the spirit of even the most impassioned gamer. In short, the reality has absolutely nothing to do with the show as presented in the trailer below, which seems to portray the position as one filled with creativity, sexual intrigue and physical activity.

In order for a reality competition show to work, you have to be able to root for the contestants involved. In this case, though, it’s hard to get excited, as the show’s contestants have agreed to publicly humiliate themselves for an entry-level position. So even with the promise of $5,000, I don’t particularly hope any of them win. I just feel sorry for them.

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