Roni Responds: ChatRoulette

Request:

oh wait i’ve just stumbled across this

http://nymag.com/news/media/63663/

weird weird weird weird
you should write a piece about it

(http://chatroulette.com)

Piece:  The NY Magazine article poses a ridiculous question:

Is ChatRoulette the future of the Internet or its distant past?

Without a doubt, the distant past.

Here’s the crux: On ChatRoulette, you are on a video chat with strangers. Unlike Skype (or anything else in this day and age), you have no control over who you’re seeing/talking to.  No “by location” function. Nada. Totally random.

You can see them, they can see you, (provided cameras work on both ends and aren’t obscured or replaced with a video).  You can type to one another.  And, if one of you doesn’t want to see the other anymore, you press F9 and it goes to the next video feed.

That’s it.  You want to know more about my experience (which is probably the experience of anyone that isn’t a chick)?

ChatRoulette.com

When you enter ChatRoulette.com, you see a little ‘Initalizing’ bar, followed by an old-school chat window.

I am immediately transported to my days as a 12-year-old on IRC, chatting with random people, with the ever-present typing of a/s/l (age/sex/location, for the undoctrinated).  Nowhere to be found on ChatRoulette, as there is nothing to be found at all at this point in the fun.

My eye is drawn to ‘Start’, both the button and the only blue text.

Pressing it, I hear a clicky click sound as it goes to the first video feed, which is black, then changes to a new feed of some sort of weird moving avatar, which then changes again to someone that does some weird stuff with their hand (as seen below).

I don’t know what is causing the video feed to change.  I see video after video of various guys in their teens/early 20’s.

Finally, it stops on a music video, which gives me time to see that there is a ‘next’ function, which was obviously what others were doing, almost immediately upon seeing me. Next (F9).  Every time I see the video change, I now know that I am being F9ed.

Getting away from the music video is my first crack at F9ing.

  • Back to mostly young guys, of various ethnicities, with one girl flashing by in the mix, all F9ing me.
  • Various middle fingers before being F9ed.

A couple of guys stop and gawk for a little.

“Hello, cutie pie,” they say.  “Nice, T-shirt, are you in the military?”

I shake my head.

“Do you work in a factory?”

I shake my head.

And then, they are gone. More flipping.

Another stop, with the above guys, who sound Scandinavian, but say they are in Tokyo.

After my microphone comes into frame, they tell me to sing Elton John’s 1997 “Candle in The Wind”, to which I say that it sucked and that I preferred the original.  Glitchy connection, so I type the same.

In the end, we sing a bit, then they F9 me.

Back to the roulette.

  • Close-up of mouth
  • Emo boy
  • Smoking black kid
  • Video of fat guy jiggling and ‘Stranger’ texts “am i fat”
  • Porn cam from manycam.com of woman’s face in camera with man thrusting behind her
  • Teen girl
  • White kid
  • Masked kids

Then, the below guys stop on me for a little.  As they ask me if I want them, I make faces, so the main guy takes his sweatshirt off.

They call me a “fat kunt”, then send me on my way.  F9ed.

  • Teenage boys
  • 20-something dudes.
  • A penis.
  • More guys.

Another kid stops. Types “40 year old virgin, rofl” F9ed.

I talk to the person with the wine glass for a bit. Italian, so I explain my upcoming travel plans and past employment history in Italy.

F9ed.

  • French guys chat amongst themselves, then disappear.
  • Dude tying his shoe
  • Old dude
  • Scrotum
  • Teen boys
  • Teen boys
  • Teen boys
  • Erection ‘hidden’ under blanket
  • More teenage boys
  • A couple teen girls

Teens staring at me making my normal facial expression.  And then, it all hits me, I get what this is.

I type: “Fuck!  You know what this is like???” F9ed.

  • Random video of just a duvet.

I F9 it.

Meanwhile, I’m waiting for someone to tell my revelation to.

Nope, not this guy. After that last line, he F9s me.

  • Dude with nipple clamps
  • Busty chick
  • Another penis
  • Dude in underwear
  • Another guy stops on me for a little. “whaddup faggot?” he asks.  “You look like (garbled) movie.”

I type, “what movie? i didnt hear you?”

Stranger: knocked up

I type ‘lol’, then get F9ed.

Finally, the above guys from Bologna talk to me a while.  I tell them my epiphany:

ChatRoulette = IRC + channel surfing + a zoo

They agree. We talk about Italy and they eventually go off to dinner.

Re-energized, I wonder who will come up next.

  • Teen boys
  • Spaniards, who F9ed me while we were chatting, despite them seeming excited by my answers
  • Teen boys

Stoners from Portland

First, they call me gay.  Then, they seem thrown off when they start to think I’m cool, so I get F9ed.

I question if I will ever get off of the site.  Not long after this worry, Flash crashes, crashing the site and allowing me to start writing this request post, in full.

Review: Obviously, this isn’t a Facebook, Twitter or any other website-killer. If you can wade through all of the uninterested (provided you’re male) teenage boys, you can find an odd world of randomness and a couple of people that actually want to chat. If you’re bored, there are certainly less interesting ways to spend your time.  If you have the stomach to deal with the possibility of pretty much anything popping up, take a whack at ChatRoulette.

Do you have something you want Roni to blog about? E-mail him or tell him in some venue, such as his Facebook fan page.

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2 Responses to Roni Responds: ChatRoulette

  1. Fafara says:

    nice review, the website needs a lot of adjustments though.

  2. roniweiss says:

    Which website?

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