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Sony announces reality series on PSN

by: Tina -
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Sony, are you getting desperate? Because it damn sure looks like you are.

SCEA just announced the upcoming debut of a competition reality series they’ve come up with called “The Tester.” Going on PlayStation Network starting February 18th, it will be available for free download.

The reality series centers on 11 gamers competing against each other to become the next game tester at SCEA with a $5,000 signing bonus. Sony must have seen the likes of Jersey Shore and whatever other ridiculously popular reality series are out there and thought, “Well, this looks like a good idea.” The truth of it is not too far off, as they’ve teamed up with 51 Minds (the company behind shows like Rock of Love) to create this series.

The competitors will be challenged on both mental and physical grounds: they’ll be rolling around in human hamster balls, and fighting with paintball guns. In congruence with the vapid emotional issues characters on reality television shows deal with, you’ll also find “emotional” moments in this series, chock full of tears and whines. To add to the tension, there are about 3 girls I noticed in the trailer, one with qualms of how good looking she is and how difficult that makes her position as a gamer. Life is hard, right?

Competitors range from 22-36, from student to used car salesman. Judges range from comedian/actor Hal Sparks to David Jaffe and John Hight (behind God of War). Read on for the full details.

So far this looks like a terrible idea. I was never interested in watching other people’s allegedly real social lives, and I certainly am not interested in this one simply because it involves gamers. Welcome to the ranks of lame reality television series, Sony.
Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. Broadens Original Content on PlayStation(R)Network with First-Ever PlayStation(R) Exclusive Reality Series

PlayStation(R)Network Series 'The Tester' to Follow 11 Contestants Competing for Job as PlayStation Game Tester and Feature Actor and Comedian Hal Sparks as Judge

FOSTER CITY, Calif., Feb. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) today announced it will debut the original competition reality series, The Tester, on PlayStation®Network for free download starting February 18, 2010. In the unique series, 11 hopeful gamers from across the country will compete in grueling physical and mental challenges to win a position as a game tester at SCEA and a $5,000 signing bonus, all under the scrutiny of a panel of judges, including actor/comedian and diehard gamer Hal Sparks. With the launch of The Tester, available for digital download only on PlayStation®3 (PS3™) and PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) entertainment systems, SCEA further expands the current library of original and exclusive content on PlayStation Network.

To create The Tester, SCEA teamed up with 51 Minds, the dynamic production company that is the force behind hit series such as The Surreal Life, Rock of Love, For the Love of Ray J, and many more popular TV shows. The Tester will follow contestants over eight episodes as emotions run high, alliances form and they battle with brain and brawn. While donning giant slingshots, paintball guns, and human hamster balls, contestants will be put to the test in a series of elimination challenges shaped around the skills necessary to be a game tester, including dexterity, communication skills and mental prowess. Cast members range in age from 22 – 36 years-old and stem from all walks of life -- from a student, to a paramedic, to a used car salesman.

"Connecting PS3 and PSP owners to great entertainment options and original digital content experiences such as Flower™, flOw and Fat Princess has always been a cornerstone of our vision for PlayStation Network," said Peter Dille, senior vice president of marketing and PlayStation Network. "With the addition of the original series, The Tester, we further establish PlayStation Network as the preeminent destination for digital entertainment in the living room or in the palm of your hand."

The Tester will be hosted by Meredith Molinari, model and host of multiple online music shows. Contestants will be judged by Sparks and Brent Gocke, Release Manager, First Party QA at Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE), as well weekly guest panelists such as David Jaffe, Director and Lead Designer of God of War® and Twisted Metal®, and founder of the game company Eat Sleep Play; John Hight, Director, Product Development, for God of War; and Petro Piaseckyj, Managing Producer, International Software at SCE.

New episodes of The Tester will be available on PlayStation®Store for free each Thursday from February 18 through April 8. PS3 owners can also view the latest episode of The Tester with other gamers in the PlayStation®Home Theatre every Thursday, as well as purchase a variety of The Tester virtual items relating to scenes from the show or their favorite cast member.

Since announcing the open casting call in September 2009, SCEA received thousands of videos from gamers across the country, all hoping to be the next PlayStation game tester and an integral part of the first-party development process at SCEA. PlayStation is home to the largest network of first party studios in the video game industry and has launched some of the biggest franchises in videogames today, including Gran Turismo®, God of War, UNCHARTED™, LittleBigPlanet™, Ratchet & Clank®, SOCOM, and more. The winner of The Tester will start their job as an official game tester at the San Diego offices of SCEA following the conclusion of the program.

A trailer and additional information on The Tester is available at www.TheTester.com. The website also features cast and panelist biographies, and audition videos.