It’s been a LONG time since an open playtest has been run like this, and so I wanted to kick the rust off the landing gear (or maybe clean the barrel and action before firing would be more apropos).
Firstly: playtesting is fun. You get to see and influence a GURPS book that has already been written and commented on by Kromm or PK, and be part of the process that produces sourcebooks of fairly legendary quality of information. For both the Low-Tech, High-Tech, and Tactical Shooting playtests, we had testers with . . . unusual possessions and experience out in their yards in the rain or trying stuff for reality and sanity checking. Weighing museum pieces or modern combat armor for weights. Fun tidbits of research.
Secondly: yeah, the ideal candidate is a Special Forces jungle warfare instructor who has been playing and playtesting GURPS since 2004, and is taking a quick break between missions to playtest the book.
But as was once said: “Sure, the compass doesn’t point North. But we’re not trying to GO north, are we?”
Just because you’re not the perfect candidate doesn’t mean you’re not gonna make the list. Are you an enthusiastic player of a game where you’re yomping packs through a jungle in a combat zone? That’s very useful. Been a backpacker all your life, or have experience and merit badges in survival as an Eagle Scout. Way ahead of the curve. Heck, I’d argue that by virtue of living in Minnesota, I have a leg up on cold-weather survival, which we call “daily life” here (many are cold; few are frozen).
Go hunting recently? In the cold? Bring it on. Know how to dress warm (or dress cool) for extreme outdoor sports, but never held a gun? Useful.
Finally: a gaming group, enthusiasm for contributing, and an eye for detail and will to make constructive, on-point suggestions are what makes a good playtester. If you think that might sound like you, perhaps you should drop me a line? Best case you get in and change the book for the better, worst case is a polite “no thank you.”