Sony's venture into reality TV, The Tester, will be keeping it real this February on the PlayStation Network.
Available for free download starting February 18, the series follows 11 hopefuls as they, the Sony releases tells us, "compete in grueling physical and mental challenges to win a position as a game tester at SCEA and a $5,000 signing bonus".
That's right! Grueling physical and mental challenges to get a QA position.
The show is the brainchild of Sony Computer Entertainment America and 51 Minds, the production company behind The Surreal Life and For the Love of Ray J.
Over the course of 8 episodes, contestants wield paintball guns, don giant slingshots and push human hamster balls — because that is exactly what game testers do.
The contestants range from 22 to 36 years-old and come from professions as varied as paramedic and 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."
Hosted by parts model Meredith Molinari, the show will feature appearances by appearances by God of War creator David Jaffe and some other bigwig people. Of course, the prospect of Jaffe going bananas on some poor contestant scrub means there is the potential for great television here.
Oh, and what is a parts model, you ask? This apparently:
With new (and free!) episodes hitting every Thursday, The Tester wraps up on April 8.