Monday, April 12, 2010

eMo reviews Chatroulette, so you don't have to...

After much hype I finally decided to see what Chatroulette was all about. For anyone that doesn't know what Chatroulette is, it's basically a website that allows you to have a video conference with a completely random person. You start talking to them and if you get bored or don't like what you see, you press F9 and are matched with a new person. That's it.

Being the cool and hip guy that I am, it is my responsibility to constantly stay on top of everything in the cool and hip domain. I am now sharing this information with you... A picture of a non-chat roulette is about the most appropriate (as in "sensitive to people who may be reading this at work") picture I could find, which right off the bat gives you an idea of where this is going. But let me tell you about all the fun and odd things that I ran into before getting down and dirty. Also, I know you're not supposed to start sentences with but, but like Liam Lynch would say,  "whateva."

Let me first say that in order to remotely enjoy this experience you should be in a state of quite to very drunk. A few of my friends and I decided to get a few 12 packs of Heine before kicking off our session. At first it's a little weird to get used to. Your video is on the right, and the other person(s) video is on the left. Naturally our first reaction was to say hi. The first person we were "matched" with was a group of guys, also drinking beers and being ridiculous. For about 30 seconds we just yelled "Heeeeeeeyyyy!" at each other until my brother got bored and pressed F9. Next.

After a few people that instantly skipped us (perhaps because they were looking for something in particular [see later on what they could have been looking for {i am such a nerd}]), we ended up being matched with two ~16 year old guys and a younger ~14-15 year old girl. They asked us if we wanted to see her take her top off, to which my friend (who shall remain unnamed) drunkenly responded "YES!!!," to which they responded "you sick fuck!!!" before F9'ing us. Pretty clever. We laughed at Robert for a while (oops, gave him away).

After a few more instant skips we came across some hispanic people playing generic latin music at full blast in the background and dancing. We joined them for a little before skipping to the next person, a kind-of-but-not-really-cute girl sitting by herself. We tried to make conversation (nothing creepy, just "hi" "where are you from" etc...) and discovered she was from the UK and wanted to see New York. So we took our laptop to the window and showed her the New York skyline for which she was very grateful. Then Sherif got bored and decided to next her...

See that's the thing about chat roulette. You can have perfectly normal, civilized, non-perverted conversations with anyone on the street on a daily basis. That's not why people go to to chat roulette. They go to chatroulette because they want to entertain the sick little corner of their brain that doesn't want to have to associate with "real" people. And what better way of doing this than through a random, anonymous, online video chat? And now we get to the ugly side of chatroulette. 70% of the people on it are single dudes (I don't mean marital status, I mean number of dudes on the screen). So, be prepared to see A LOT of dicks (I don't mean guys who are jerks... I mean... I think you know what I mean). Probably the most consistent thing that we saw was (if you're sensitive to inappropriate things, read no further)...

...guys wanking it in front of a camera. In fact, avoiding them became almost like a game in itself, where randomly, 1/4 people we were matched with were guys touching themselves and we would all go "Aahhhwwww!!!" while one of us quickly reached for the F9 key. It's was almost like playing a game of minesweeper. One guy had the decency to do it under a blanket so you didn't actually have to see his stuff, but still... it's pretty gross. The longest consecutive streak of... this... was 5 in a row. But, in a really, really weird way, it's fucking hilarious! Beeeecaaaaaauuuuse - there are also topless girls from time to time. THAT'S RIGHT. So all of a sudden there's actually an incentive to keep clicking. So in the end you and your drunken friends are F9'ing people like crazy looking for chicks and laughing hysterically and going "Aaaahhwwwww" every time a dick pops up! And when finally a topless girl at her computer with another one dancing around a stripping pole in the background come up on the screen and your friend Robert is in the bathroom, making fun of him for missing it will be just about the funnest thing in the world! Remember how I said you have to be drunk to appreciate Chatroulette? This is why. No sober person in their right mind would ever do or want to do this.

Here's a pie chart of other things we saw:

Conclusion: So while it starts out fun and good-natured, Chatroulette easily turns into one of the vilest things I've ever seen in my life. Chatroulette falls in to the realm of things that are incredibly fun, but only under the right circumstances - if you want to try it out, make sure you (get ready, numbered list):

1) Have a high tolerance for seeing dicks
2) Are very drunk and get progressively more drunk as you spend time on Chatroulette
3) Have very low expectations of actually seeing something you want to see
4) Don't get offended when someone doesn't want to speak to you just because you're a dude
5) Live in a state where being forced to watch pornography isn't a crime
6) Have a bunch of your friends with you to share the ups, the downs, the chicks, and the dicks, and a designated person to hit the F9 button who can generally be trusted to do so (not one who purposely makes you watch something gross while he runs to the bathroom, Sherif)

Also, because I'm a dude I've written this review from a dude's point of view (because that is the only point of view that I know). However, if you are a girl (and a very perverted one) you might actually get a serious kick out of Chatroulette.... that is until every group of drunken guys that you come across has at least one of them in the back raising his beer into the air yelling "BOOOBIEEEES!!!!!" This followed by all of them yelling "BOOOOBIEEEEES!!!!" (We never did that at all).

But in all seriousness... do it once. Get wasted, and do it. It's just something you have to experience for yourself. Also I want to point out that Chatroulette matched us with ourselves one time and it was pretty funny (there's like 4 million different people it can pick from).

Mo out.

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