Illustration for article titled The Tester: Episode 4: The LARPing in the Park Lateblog Recap

While we were at the Game Developers Conference, PlayStation Network reality show The Tester carried on as normal, meaning we didn't get a chance to liveblog the fourth episode "LARPing in the Park" as normal. So here's a recap.


As you may recall from the previous week, Tester contestant Fame Girl was eliminated for not being very skilled at playing some bizarre spin on football that no one has ever played before. Also, last week I had the pleasure of bumping into contestants Amped and Cyrus in real life at Sony's God of War III party. They didn't seem to hate me too much, so I'll keep doing this thing.

Read on for our recap of the previous episode, in totally-not-liveblog format, then stay "tuned" for the more current liveblog of today's episode later today.


This episode of The Tester stars not with a Dr. Pepper commercial featuring Dr. Dre, but a MLB 10: The Show spot with Joe Mauer and Kevin Butler. You know, the one with Kevin in swim trunks?

First, a recap of last week's episode. Sorry for nesting recaps, but I suppose it's important to remind you that two weeks ago, the Red Team and Blue Team took the challenge to the gridiron, launching footballs in some wacky physical contest. That was the one in which *spoiler alert* Fame Girl was ejected from the show. We miss you already, Fame Girl.

On to this week's episode! The Tester contestants are shown sleeping, which is always great creepy footage to have. Doc is snoring, kind of a throat-clearing snore, the kind that might make a roommate justified in smothering him while he sleeps.

Cut to dream sequence warp-wipe of Luge and Doc saying "awesome" and Doc touching her. Ew. He "can't help but flirt with Luge, she is so damn cute." Keep your paws to yourself, Doc!


Hey, some Luge face and accent time. The group is mocking poor Luge's speech. She can't help the way she says "walk" and "helicopter," guys.

OK, the weekly PlayStation message comes in through the XMB and we're about to get our LARP on. That's "live action role-playing" for anyone in the crowd who doesn't own at least one piece of chainmail.


Amped doesn't know what to expect today. Poor kid. :(

The Testers head out to the park, meet up with the lovely Meredith and are immediately invaded by a group of LARPers. The Testers look amazingly confused by the appearance of men in make-up and Rennaisance fair outfits/Minotaur heads. The mental strain may be too much to bear.


Luge voices her confusion. "What does this have to do with our challenge?" What does any of this have to do with QA testing, you may be asking as a follow up. Both are valid questions!

Cut to a battle between LARPer one and LARPer two, in which one is instructed to tear the other limb from limb. Interpretation: whack his "mirror shield" with a hammer to the squeaky sound effects.


Human LARPer casts, I think, "glacier ball." Non-human LARPer takes that "spell" right in the breadbasket, hilarious on an America's Funniest Home Videos level. I think this exchange just involved the saving of a fair maiden.

Speaking of fair maidens, Meredith explains the challenge. "Today, you'll all be LARPing." The first Tester to really get this is Cyrus, who says he LARPed once in college. Oh, Cyrus. I hope your parents aren't watching this episode. :(


Let's re-meet the judges one more time. Brent Gocke, of PlayStation employment. "Our favorite funny-man gamer, Mr. Hal Sparks," Meredith says. Hal prefers to be addressed as Haldorf for this challenge. Finally, special guest panelist, PlayStation Home producer Katherine De Leon. I guess she would know about LARPing, based on the number of men role-playing as women in Home.

Luge and Nauseous are selected as team captains. Luge feels good about this, she says. Since we have an odd number of contestants, they flip a coin to see who gets to pick first and who gets the extra team member. Luge wins the toss, picks Star, much to the chagrin of Doc, who appears to want to do some role-playing of his own with his lady team captain.


Who will be the last one picked? More importantly, will they cry?

Luge wanted Star because she was "totally into it," explaining that in full LARP costume... which actually works on her, even though she should totally have a pair of prosthetic elf ears.


Nauseous picks Doc, Luge picks Cyrus, leaving Amped and Big D to join the Nauseous team. It's nice that there's no individual person left as the last choice. I think we've all been humiliated enough by this point.

Luge's team gets a "deep space" LARPing theme for their... act? What do LARPers call this sort of scenario. Is it just a LARP? Is this a verb?


Nauseous' team goes "barbarian." Big D and Amped work out their barbarian-themed fiction. I feel a little nauseated myself right now.

Looks like the fanficing skills of Luge's team are a little lacking. Either that or they're too embarrassed to actually LARP. "So." "Um." Uh. Cyrus steps up to the plate to start improvising a little deep space fiction, as the judges watch on. Cut to a few scenes of Testers trying on costumes and props and that little montage is just about done. Here we go. I'm nervous on their behalf. I may be the one to cry first during this episode.


Here we go. "Are you ready to LARP?!" asks Meredith.

Cyrus lays out the deep space mall fiction. Space coffee. Space donuts. It's gold. I feel dizzy from embarrassment by proxy. Luge and Cyrus banter about something that I can't quite follow while Star stares on, a little stage fight holding her back it seems.


Doc's insightful "This is like watching Waiting For Space Guffman'" comment is spot on.

I really can't express in words how awkward this is. With the exception of the brilliantly improvised line "Good thing my gun shoots lightning!" from Cyrus, I have no idea what's happening. Neither does Amped, which makes me feel better. I guess there's some twist here, in which Luge was... stealing? She went to space jail? Star is promoted to new space cadet?


Thankfully, the deep space LARP ends.

Now, onto the barbarians. Amped starts us off with a little gymnastics to spark our interest in the Battle for the Helm of Power. Big D is way into it, sporting a fabulous, horned barbarian helmet and some barbarian caliber dialogue with Nauseous. Honestly, I can't follow this one either. Maybe that's due to the editor.


Star accuses the barbarians of LARP plagiarism. A bold claim, space cadet!

Something tells me Star is about to go. It's either her or Luge, who feels her team is "in deep space shit." Oh, Luge!


Big D is not worried about his team's performance, as he shouldn't be.

Luge, on the other hand, is really worried. Doc is there to console her and look for any opportunity to lay his hands on Luge. Sounds like he's given up on snuggling up to Amped.


On to the elimination. Star is a little bit nervous. Yeah, I would be too if I was her.

First up, the deep space team, which Katherine De Leon slams as "uninspired."

"It's deep space, you could have done anything. You did mall cops. Why?" she says.


Haldorf offers his opinion to the barbarian team, also noting, like Star, that they were too "inspired" by the original LARPers... LARP... thing. Big D disagrees, thinking his team's LARP was pretty original. "I'd like to see [Hal] LARP," Big D says. That makes exactly one of us.

Big D gets the VIP nod from Brent Gocke, which must make him feel good after last week's non-VIP showing. The barbarians are safe, with Cyrus, Luge and Star up for elimination. Brent lays into Luge for her lack of leadership. But Brent and Katherine give Star the business too. Katherine tells her she was "the worst performer out of everyone today."


"By a mile," she annunciates. Katherine looks like she wants to beat Star to death. I hope she doesn't, because that really wouldn't be fair.

Oh god. It's so close. Oh no, Luge! Luge is not the next PlayStation game tester. I'm never watching this show again. Instead, I'll focus on my pouting. I blame Doc. For everything. At least Luge will have more time to dedicate to her music video career, the only silver lining in this elimination.


Wow. It's Doc, not Luge, who breaks the seal and starts crying about losing her as a contestant. Didn't see that coming.

The preview for next week's episode (rather, today's episode) is all about Buzz, the PlayStation quiz game. We can look forward to trivia about Uncharted, Twisted Metal and more, plus the elimination of one more contestant on .... The Tester!!

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