Reality behind reality: Ars talks to The Tester's winner

ARS: We were dubious when Sony announced that it was casting for The Tester, and we were increasingly uncomfortable about the show as details gradually made their way into the light. The fact that the show was being produced by 51 Minds-the same company that handled such gems as I Love Mondy and Megan Wants a Millionaire (which was yanked from the air when it turned out one of the contestants had murdered his wife)-did little to ease our worries. When the competition was finally aired on the PlayStation Network, initial reviews were generally pretty scathing.

The series' eight episode run came to an end last week, and Will Powers, AKA "Cyrus," managed to beat out ten other hopeful gamers to become the newest game tester at Sony's offices in San Diego. On top of a guaranteed job-which he will begin next Monday-Powers also received a $5,000 signing bonus for his troubles. Ars had the opportunity to talk to both Powers and SCEA release manager Brent Gocke (who also served as a panelist on The Tester) the day after the final episode was made available for download; both men were happy to talk about the show and their involvement, and their answers definitely painted the program in a different light.

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