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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    House wins with Chatroulette

    The latest online means to embarrass and to feel embarrassed is Chatroulette.com, a Web site that allows users to connect with random strangers around the world. The addition of video and audio and the option to switch, or “”next,”” to another random person distinguish Chatroulette from other chat sites. You no longer have to wonder whether that self-proclaimed French supermodel is truly handsome or beautiful, you’ll get to see him or her for yourself — for better or worse. Even though you’ll see the other person, you never know what he or she is really like until the chat begins.

    So in a limited and very unscientific experiment, the brave volunteers of the Arizona Daily Wildcat WildLife staff went on Chatroulette. Their only restrictions were a time limit of 15 minutes and to attempt to have an actual conversation.

    OBSERVATIONS & RESULTS

    One of the worst things that can happen

    My virginal trip on the Chatroulette circuit was terrible. It lasted than less eight minutes, but it will never leave me. I know I’m not the first person to have caught glimpses of hairy, overweight men masturbating. So you might think my experience could not have been worse than the average Chatroulette victim’s. However, until you have seen a man smack his testicles against his webcam, you have not been the places I have been.

    Most people on Chatroulette who had their clothes on looked depressed with their life; I imagine the two correlated. I too have felt such pain: When I was finally matched with an attractive woman, she disconnected from me almost immediately. I have since felt inadequate, despondent and alone. I wonder what she didn’t see in me. I think penises.

    — Zachary Smith

    A nice Frenchman

    Chatroulette was an interesting experience. I don’t think I suffered too much psychological damage; however, I did find a few surprises.

    My first partner ended up being two teenage boys, one in dark sunglasses and the other one perched beside him. After introducing myself with a general “”hi”” and receiving no response, I clicked “”next”” to switch partners.

    The conversation with my second partner took up the majority of the seven minutes or so I spent on the Web site. He was a nice, talkative bloke from France. New to the site himself — it being his second time — I definitely did not get the “”creep”” factor I had experienced with the first guys. After a short exchange of customary pleasantries, we parted ways.

    The remainder of my time was not so congenial. In fact, disgusting comes to mind. My third partner turned out to be a heavy-set older man who only gave me a wink and a slight head nod before continuing to stare at me on the screen. The fact that I saw his hands go south did little to put me at ease. My last and final pairing was with someone’s crotch. Yes, a man’s crotch.

    Needless to say, that was the end of my session on Chatroulette.

    — Dallas Williamson

    Wanted: Anonymous chat

    I can see the appeal of Chatroulette, but 10 penises later I’m over it. What did I learn? There are some interesting people out there, but I’ve seen one too many men masturbating for my taste. Maybe omegle.com, a similar Web site that was around first and doesn’t feature webcams, is the poor man’s Chatroulette, but I’ll take anonymous conversation over video chats. Chatroulette seems more fun as a group, and if you’re an attractive girl it gets old quick. There is potential to meet some interesting people — if you can get past the penises. Even if anonymous webcamming isn’t your thing there is some intriguing novice Chatroulette sociology going on around the Internet. Google “”Chatroulette sociology.””

    — Ali Freedman

    Baby carrots

    It was four a.m. The Americans were all in bed. Belgians, Brazilians and the French prowled the Web. After a few dozen chats, I developed standards for who is a good person to talk to, and who deserves a hasty “”next.””

    Copied and pasted introductions are never a good sign — it shows they’ve been on the site for a while or are remarkably lazy. Other notable no-no’s: couples, close-ups of “”abs”” and too many smileys. As for the men keen on taking their clothes off, I retaliated with a comment involving baby carrots.

    The experience is actually intriguing if you have some spare time. Total anonymity is refreshing and you’ll meet the most interesting (or bizarre) people imaginable. Sure, there’s the intermittent penis, but that’s college for you.

    — Kathleen Roosa

    Ode to the Rubix Man

    Nude male genitalia.

    For nine straight rounds.

    Then,

    I hit upon a winner!

    I dubbed him Rubix Man.

    He told me he would solve his Cube.

    Eyes closed,

    he promised me “”no penis.””

    True to his word,

    he jumbled it.

    Solved it in two minutes,

    and seven seconds.

    “”Knock it down to 45 seconds,

    then I’ll be impressed.””

    I pressed ‘F9.’

    He vanished into the black of my screen.

    I never saw him again.

    — Joe Dusbabek

    Going in like gangbusters

    I decided to give it a go along with several friends — one of them advised me not to do it alone. We divided ourselves between two computers, guys versus girls, making it some sort of competition and started chatting.

    Some, OK, most of the people were bizarre while others kept up some interesting conversation for several minutes. The hint of a dark room or a provocatively placed camera was instantly next-ed. I saw way too many guys jerking off.

    Along with the overexposure of penises came more guys, but this time they wanted us to flash them. They got a flash, but was it one of the girls? Nope. It was hilarious to say the least, and our partners definitely weren’t expecting dude nipple.

    We were on a roll, nexting the conversations when they got boring and chatting it up with strangers. There were a lot more nexts than actual conversations. 

    We were completely enticed by this strange new activity, but finally had to stop when we became exhausted.

    You have no strings tied to any of these people; you can talk to them about anything if you decide you even want to talk to them at all. Odds are, without Chatroulette you probably wouldn’t have talked to them in the first place.

    —Emily Moore

    Not all fun and games

    After 15 minutes on Chatroulette, the newest Internet social networking fad, a trend starts to emerge. Sadly for the eyes and the pocketbook — intensive therapy is pricey — that fad is male genitalia.

    It took me four tries before I found anything on Chatroulette other than a man in a darkened room, either proudly flaunting the fact that he was masturbating or surreptitiously doing so just beyond the camera’s view. Although I tried to quickly avert my eyes and hit “”next,”” I still saw more junk than your average Monday afternoon.

    Some aspects of the site are pretty cool. I practiced my Spanish skills with a man in Palma, Spain, and talked to a 24-year-old entrepreneur in East Germany. Unfortunately, the latter forced me to “”next”” him when he asked politely that I “”show him my tits.”” No, thank you.

    The most off-putting aspect of Chatroulette is not the plethora of penises. This is par for the course in any Internet phenomenon — remember the MySpace friend requests from, ahem, exotic dancers? The worst part of Chatroulette is the “”next”” function. A stranger can, upon simply seeing your face under unflattering webcam conditions, decide you’re not worth the time it takes to type “”Hey.”” I was passed over half a dozen times, and my sense of self-worth took a beating. But I have to admit, every time I saw a sullen male face in a darkened room, an arm jiggling suspiciously, I breathed a sigh of relief as I resolutely clicked “”next.””

    —Heather Price-Wright

    CONCLUSION

    It is safe to conclude that the odds of having an actual conversation on Chatroulette are slim. Much like a stint at a Las Vegas roulette table, the house wins in the end and unfortunately, that house is populated by hirsute, overweight men in various states of undress.

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