PlayStation will debut an original reality competition series

Gamers will compete for a job with PlayStation in an original competition series that will be broadcast only over the PlayStation Network starting Feb. 18.

It’s called The Tester, and will follow “11 avid gamers competing in a series of physical and mental elimination challenges,” and the last person standing will “win an actual job as an official PlayStation game tester along with a $5000 signing bonus,” according to the show’s site. The series is produced by 51 Minds, the production company behind the string of VH1 dating series, and includes Hal Sparks as a judge.

Ars Technica writes that the trailer, below, “looks more like the work of someone making fun of the idea of what a video game-based reality show might look like,” especially because “Testing games is a grind, with low pay for long hours and a row of people behind you who think it will be their golden ticket into the industry.”

But there is enthusiasm for the concept. Destructoid writes that based upon challenges where “A dude gets axed in the neck, people are rolling around in those giant hamster ball contraptions, and then everyone starts spooning,” the show “is the greatest thing ever.”

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.