ChatRoulette: the zoo of the internet

Article by: Derek Anderson

“…I had just locked myself into a cage at the human zoo.”

The Internet is a wild place. It contains everything that the human mind could ever imagine, and even more things the human mind cannot begin to comprehend. If you don’t believe me, just check out  You’ll understand. But I’ve discovered a new website. A website that takes this jungle of chaos that is the Internet and turns it into a zoo.

First thing that popped up on my screen was a penis.  Not expecting it, I quickly hit the “next” button and was rerouted to a group of guys flipping me off. After returning the middle finger, I again, hit “next”. I was brought to a dude with no shirt looking at me intently. “Next”. “Next”. “Next”. I found I couldn’t stop. I also couldn’t understand. I had become a part of the roulette. is one of those sites I’m having trouble comprehending, so bear with me. When I first heard about it, I didn’t truly believe it was real. I was dead wrong. I logged onto it last weekend for the first time and, when arriving at the website, was taken aback by its blandness. I was prompted: “Click ‘Play’ to start the game.” Little did I realize, after that one click, I had just locked myself into a cage at the human zoo.

The site operates by linking the user to the rest of the viewers on the site. Users have the ability to view a complete stranger, video chat with them and instant message them. The user and the user on the other side have the capability to end the conversation at any time by hitting the “next” button, where they are then transferred and linked up to another complete stranger.

Here’s where the “roulette” idea comes into play. There’s no way to censor or filter who does what. Needless to say, really random crap comes up, sometimes being explicit. People need to go into it expecting the unexpected.

A sum up of users on Men masturbating, crotch shots, dancing people in masks, empty rooms, blank screens, pathetic guys, young and old (some being really old, I saw a dude hooked up to an oxygen tank) hoping to see some breasts, and curious people, sometimes in groups, wondering what the site is all about. Some people want to chat. Most don’t however and just merely wish to view you for a brief second before moving on.

Judge and be judged is the site’s hidden mantra. That’s all it is. But the extraordinary part is the intense global connection of the website. Users go in knowing they will never see these people ever again in their lives. It’s a view into someone else’s life, if only for a second. A zoo for people in cages to view and be viewed by other people in cages.

Frankly, I was sketched out by the idea of this at first. To be judged without a chance to explain or express one’s self is uncomfortable. It is once users move past this uncomfortable feeling that they can truly begin to attempt to understand the meaning of this website.

It is the anonymous aspect, the unknown, the unpredictability of it all that is the draw and damn is it interesting. Look at the world in flashes, even if it is slightly disturbing and ridiculous, because isn’t that what life is anyway? If you think you’re brave enough, go view the human zoo that is Chat Roulette. I guarantee it will be interesting. If not, there’s an easy solution: “Next”.