I was introduced to a new website called ChatRoulette.com today. As the name suggests, you sign in and video chat – picture and audio – with random people from around the world. There’s a NEXT button if you want to move on from the conversation to another one.
A lot of people I’ve talked to about it compare it to speed dating but to me, as a writer and script consultant, it’s more like pitching.
Most of the people you come upon “NEXT” you in a split second so, if you want to carry on any sort of conversation, you have to capture their interest immediately. So far, in the hour I’ve spent on it, I’ve seen people juggling, dancing, showing clips from movies, sleeping, etc. to try and convince me to stop and chat.
Most of the conversations have been a total waste of time, but I have come across a few gems, including a girl in Russia who was desperately trying to re-find the “love of her life” after they were disconnected the day before. When I asked her about him, all she said was, “He was nice. He had a parrot. They kissed.”
You can’t make that up.
One word of warning though: You will see a lot of penises… Yes, really. Like everything else on the internet, the exhibitionists have taken over ChatRoulette.com. In an earlier post on this site, Chris mentioned how many he saw while running the NYC Marathon. But now, because of this site, I think I have him… um… beat.
That said, if you’re interested in trying the latest fad in technology, and you’re not easily offended, give it a try. It’s a free service and will no doubt give you a lot of material for your story.
As an exercise:
Imagine your main character and villain are both on this site. What are they both hoping to find? Do they find true love? A new victim? What happens when they stumble upon each other?