Earlier this year, we all had a laugh along with/at the expense of a handful of video game industry hopefuls competing in the PlayStation Network reality show The Tester. Sadly, I won't be liveblogging the series' next season.
That's because, as Sony Computer Entertainment announced earlier today, I was invited to be a guest panelist on the show, joining folks like God of War III producer Stig Asmussen, Insomniac Games CEO Ted Price and Medal of honour producer Greg Goodrich as a harsh critic of reality show contestants. Brent Gocke, Senior Release Manager from SCEA, and Adrianne Curry, reality show veteran and unhealthily obsessed World of Warcraft fan, serve as the show's panelist mainstays this season.
Together, the three of us levied judgment on a group of PlayStation QA tester candidates hoping to win gainful employment by competing in ridiculous but thematically appropriate reality show challenges.
I know. What the hell? What business does a Kotaku reviews editor have on The Tester Season 2? Without spoiling much, my appearance on the show was somewhat related to my duties at Kotaku. Hey, I'm no Ted Price, but The Tester is not exactly your standard job interview and I lay no claim to having human resources or quality assurance skills. Brent Gocke, the man in charge, is the guy for that.
So. Last month, I spent two days on the set of The Tester 2. On one day, I observed production and spoke with folks from the show's production company, 51 Minds Entertainment, as well as PlayStation Network reps. Later that weekend, I performed panelist duties, watching Tester contestants compete in a challenge, then debating with the show's panelists, producers and others about who won, who lost and who should go home.
While visiting the set, we got a look at how the show runs. It's an intense juggle of scheduling, filming and people. The show's producers worked long hours on a tight schedule—it was filmed over the course of just eight days—and simply appearing on the show as a talking head was somehow exhausting.
The Tester 2 is supposed to air sometime in the fall with a few tweaks to the previous season. Episodes will be slighter longer and feature more content from the "reality" side of the show, not just the wacky challenges and judgment moments.
Sadly, I can confirm that there will be no LARPing in season two, one of the highlights of the previous season.
And the show has dropped the claim that getting a job as a PlayStation QA tester is a "dream job." A potential inroad to a career in making video games? Sure. But a dream job? C'mon.
Given my appearance on the program, I won't be liveblogging about the show or covering it. We'll be leaving it up to someone else at Kotaku to handle mocking me and The Tester cast on a weekly basis.
Anyway, here's a picture of Adrianne Curry touching my shoulder.
Any questions you might have about the show or my (unpaid!) involvement in it, hit us in the comments or e-mail me directly.