ChatRoulette •creepy late-night web cams

I recently checked out ChatRoulette, a new website that puts you face-to-face instantly with others from all over the world. While that in itself may seem exciting, it’s actually very creepy in a dark, back room kind of way. You find yourself instantly staring at someone else on your screen. What to do then?

I typed in the URL and wasn’t required to sign in or anything [thank God]; I just clicked on the box above that stated ‘next’. The site activates your webcam instantly.  Up pops some oriental kid with a wall of glass sitting at his computer desk in a yellow shirt-he clicks me off. Next comes another guy for barely a second-he clicks me off-I’m beginning to wonder if my breath is bad. I go through around 5 people, in strange, dark places who disconnect me instantly…until I meet the French guy. Let’s just say he was preoccupied on the couch. I was stunned at first, having to fixate my stare to make sure I was seeing what I thought I was seeing. I was. Click. Next.

Then came the guy lying in bed with a pillow in front of him only showing his chest and typing with one finger. Then there was the guy with the deer antlers opening up with ‘what’s up doe?”, the girl in Malaysia with the 45 body piercings, the girl texting on her cell phone and the guy with a candle in a bodily orifice. My most astonishing web cam came from a woman lying in her bed naked. That in itself should not be alarming but the fact that she filled the entire bed was. She told me to feel free to talk. Click. Next.

While this is all too entertaining in the middle of the night, I will state that there is a creepiness to this game. It’s so anonymous that even the site’s founder is unknown. Once you decide to jump in there, there’s really no way to manage the experience-it’s not face book; you can’t search for friends, poke anyone, find anyone again, filter users or backtrack. It’s all a one-way ride.

My only worry is that if ChatRoulette actually catches on, we could all be wearing deer antlers and standing nude in the shower reciting poetry from the 15th century.


~ by Voltima on March 26, 2010.

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