Chatroulette is a website that connects strangers together via webcam. It's drawing the attention of many, including Michael Cera, possibly Jersey Shore, and New York Magazine. Two of our interns logged on to see what all the fuss was about.
Chatroulette works by connecting two users in a chat. Once you log onto the site and click "Start!", you don't even have time to fix your hair before you're staring at another living, breathing person. There is nothing to install, no fancy gadgets, just one-on-one, human interaction. Once you are logged on, you have the options of speaking to the person, typing to the person, or clicking the "next" button.
We decided to use both a male and female subject in this experiment, and interns Zach Mack and Elaine Moran signed up for duty. What they found was an interesting array of people waiting for them on the other end of the virtual line.
Chat Roulette was, by and large, boring. Lots of too-young or too-old dudes requesting "TITS PLEASE." Only the boys in China seemed to want to talk, and a cute Parisian cuddling an orange cat. There are few women, though there are a few precocious tween girls who are about to get their eyes poked out by internet dick. I saw that guys would talk to Zack, but any time I came across another lady, they would click "Next." I guess they don't go to Chat Roulette for girl talk.
Video highlights from Elaine's time spent chatroulette-ing:
(WARNING: a VERY NSFW moment at the end that involves a head of lettuce. Don't say we didn't warn you.)
I'm not sure how I feel about Chatroulette, because it's definitely entertaining, but equally twisted and bizarre. It's a swath of the internet's usual suspects: guys jerking off, Asian kids up late at night, a circle of stoned friends tooling around, and the token curious bystanders who get all of the aforementioned stuff shoved into their face without warning. It's like channel surfing bored or horny peoples' living rooms. Being a guy, in an office, wearing a shirt, not masturbating put me in a minority, but also left few people who were interested in talking to me. I had one girl draw me a picture and one sing me a song, but it was mostly flashes of webcam girls and then random guys who were clearly looking for what I had just seen. Elaine seemed to be doing just fine with the guys, but pretty girls usually do well on these kinds of sites, and all they wanted was to see her tits. No girls would talk to her either.
Video highlights from Zach's time spent chatroulette-ing:
(WARNING: Some NSFW moments featuring a stuffed raccoon.)