Chatroulette as a Theatrical Platform

This summer i tried to experiment a little with how you could use these random chat sites as a possible creative platform.. as an anonymous theatrical experience, playing with fictitious characters, and to test how much people can take responsibility for strangers they meet randomly online.

I asked a friend, a pretty young looking french girl to act as bait, since most users are male under 24 years or genitalia exposing middle aged men, she fitted perfectly the idea of "internet bait".

The idea was for her to chat with strangers on "Chatroulette" for five to seven minutes, playful, seductive, flirtatious, keeping their interest, with the web camera quite close on her face, to make her look even younger but exposing a little in the back ground of the frame the house and the patio doors leading into a drak garden. After seven minutes, two masked men, burst in from the doors at the back of the room. They violently place a bag over her head and drag her away, out of the image frame. The image remained of an empty room, until the other person decided to leave. We could still watch there response from outside the frame of the camera .

Maybe a little harsh as a scenerio, but what was interesting was the response from the viewer. The scenerio that they has just witnessed, was a possible abduction of a cute girl, who they had made good social contact with, and who had been violently removed from your visual frame by two masked men. The viewer had witnessed an extreme event. They were the witness of a possible crime. In the five times that we re-enacted this scenerio, the response was quite similar. The person on the other side of the chat, the viewer, went through a range of first confusion, then slightly growing concern to full concern. Most people stayed on the empty image of an empty room for ten to twenty minutes, before clicking away.