Video Game Enthusiasts Battle on The Tester

Gamers compete in Survivor-style challenges for a top job as a video-game tester

Credit: Sony

12 contestants battle it out for their dream job: a video game tester for Sony Computer Entertainment

Gamers compete in Survivor-style challenges for a top job as a video-game tester

When it comes to jobs that would sound too awesome to be real if you didn’t know they really existed, at or near the top of the list is “video game tester.”

This is really more of a job description than an actual job title for the contestants in The Tester, the PlayStation Network’s online reality competition series, who compete in various game-related challenges to earn the coveted position of production associate at Sony Computer Entertainment’s Worldwide Studios.

Still, if someone asks the winner what he or she does do for a living, you can bet the answer will be, I swear, “I test video games!”

Now in its third season, The Tester starts with 12 contestants — 11 chosen by Sony, one selected by the PlayStation gaming community — and spends seven episodes separating the wheat from the chaff, with the last gamer standing winning not only the gig of a lifetime, but also a 2012 Ford Focus Titanium.

What Sort of Challenges Await Contestants of The Tester?

Although host Meredith Molinari has stayed consistent from season to season, the judges for The Tester tend to vary. This season, some of the names selected to decide the fates of the competitors include Dylan Jobe (president of LightBox Interactive), Todd Papy (design director for the game God of War III) and Nolan North (voice of Nathan Drake in the Uncharted game franchise). Possibly just to throw the gamers off their, um, game, former America’s Next Top Model winner Adrianne Curry also turns up as a judge.

If you don’t play video games, don’t worry: The competitions on The Tester are a far cry from being strictly about gaming. For example, the premiere of season three finds each contender forced to do an entrance interview while their head is encased in a box filled with Madagascar hissing cockroaches.

But, really, what did you expect? If you want the gig of a lifetime, you’ve got to earn it.

Originally published in TVW. For daily programming updates and on-screen Entertainment news, subscribe to the free TVW e-newsletters, or purchase a subscription to the weekly magazine.