Reality check: being a game tester sucks

So Sony’s got their own reality show going live on PSN sometime soon. While Sony doing a reality show is a rather terrifying prospect all on its own (KAZ HIRAI GONE WILD!), the premise is much, much worse. In The Tester, gullible nerds will battle other gullible nerds for the very dubitable honour of being a game tester over at Sony’s San Diego office. Yes, Sony is actually making a television event of giving someone a horrible, minimum wage job in QA.

Now, I know what some of you are thinking. You’re thinking, “But lol wtf game testing is like the most awesomest job in the history of like forever and stuff and it’s my dream lol.” Well, it’s not and it shouldn’t be. Being a game tester is the industry equivalent of being the little bunny rabbit in a corporate cosmetics laboratory. You know, the one that gets cheap shampoo rubbed in its gleaming little bunny rabbit eyes day after day, until its little bunny rabbit eyes gleam no more.

Here’s how it works. Hypothetical Game Tester Subject A arrives for work. Hypothetical Game Tester Subject A is seated in a cubicle, and handed the pre-beta code for Ponies Ponies Ponies IV: Ponies Ride Again. Hypothetical Game Tester Subject A is then tasked with playing the tutorial level for the entire day, making sure to attempt pretty much anything and everything a player could possibly conceive of trying. When Hypothetical Game Tester Subject A breaks the game – which Hypothetical Game Tester Subject A will, because Ponies Ponies Ponies IV: Ponies Ride Again is in pre-beta, and it’s about as buggy as a hypothetical B-grade film called Attack of the 50-Foot Bugs – then Hypothetical Game Tester Subject A must repeat breaking the game until Hypothetical Game Tester Subject A has determined what exactly is breaking it, and draft a comprehensive report (with numbers) about that for the development department.

The next day, Hypothetical Game Tester Subject A moves on to the game’s second level.

I’ve repeated the designation “Hypothetical Game Tester Subject A” here because if you read the preceding paragraph over and substitute your name every time you see it, you may finally begin to envision the slowly unfurling, leathery Lovecraftian horror your life could become.

Next time you think you want to be a game tester, don’t.

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  • Tsar

    I will never do that lol. I really never considered being a game tester and I have no patience for that rubbish.

  • Tank

    True enough, you spend ages testing an unfinished product, then you have to fill in loads of paper work. no thanks

  • Solitude

    True, lots of people do not realize that game testing is a job. And well work is work.

    As a job it really doesn't sound that bad to me. It's got its challenges just like other jobs and the paperwork just like other jobs. I wish I could try it for 3 months and see how bad it really is.


    Sounds like a bit of a one sided massacre
    Remember if its your passion, You will enjoy it
    I work infront of a pc all day. Its not hell for me, I get kakked on by my boss, I get frustrated and dont even question the amount of paperwork. But i love it

  • Stephen

    I agree it is a thankless task even if the person is hardened gamer

    I have had the misfortune of doing it once, what made it worse the game was not very exciting. Thank goodness I dont do it anymore.

    I rate it the same as Call Centre work on the Insanity Inducing scale

  • mitchsnitchel

    ponies ponies….i lold pretty hard in college right now. thanks for that 😀

  • Wolfman

    "Lovecraftian" Classic! 😀

    I think if it was with the guys at Petroglyph (ex-westwood employees), Valve or 2k Boston (formerly irrational) it may be at least bearable for a week or so.



  • Grant Hinds

    @PLEASE: take your own advice 😉

  • MrXSpekta

    Reasons why its not worth it:
    1. Low Wage.
    2. Repetitive cycle of abuse. (Mental Torture)
    3. No prospects to further your career.
    4. Detrimental to Health. (Physical Torture).

    GET A REAL JOB!!!.

  • Nicholas

    MUch the same as testig any other software then.

  • SarelSeemonster

    The thing is … thats often a very cool way to get your foot in the door doing other things.

Reality check: being a game tester sucks