ChatRoulette has a bit of a reputation for… certain activities that none of us really wish to see. That doesn’t mean it can’t be used for genuine interaction and in some really quite clever ways, however. Take Realm Pictures’ usage of the random video-chat service, which put anyone lucky enough to stumble across it in control of a first-person character — facing the terrifying onslaught of a real-world zombie apocalypse.
“Many years ago we experimented with the concept of ‘random stranger’ control — and one afternoon strapped a webcam to my head while someone followed me around with a laptop,” experience director David Reynolds said in a chat with Mashable. “The idea stuck in my head, and eventually resurfaced while we were talking about fun projects for the summer. We decided to throw some of our indie film tricks behind it and see what happened.”
In the video, which mashes up the experiences of several different ChatRoulette users, the unsuspecting chatter is asked to give commands to the character they’re playing. He responds in a suitably gruff tone while slaying zombies, collecting weapons, dodging attacks — and even taking part in a quick-time event.
All the while, players were given a health bar, a picture denoting their character’s state of mind and general well-being, and a level indicator — all of the tenets of a traditional FPS title.
As much as this is a scripted experience though, players that are lax with their commands or make poor choices will find themselves falling at early hurdles.
The only sad part about the whole thing is that currently there is no level 2. The few that made it seemed quite keen to continue, and we would love to see what comes next. In fact if we could, we’re pretty sure this is something we’d pay to have a crack at.
What about you?