Issue #160 – The boy in a bubble

Issue #160

Surfing & cruising

The boy in a bubble

by Bret Kelly

The idea of living one’s life online is a strange thing to me.
Knowing that people are constantly watching my every move
kind of frightens me. I feel that I live in a fish bowl when I’m rec-
ognized in the village or at a club but I know that when I close
my door, I am not being monitored. In the past I had toyed with
the idea of putting up my own live cam but I felt my privacy was
something I didn’t want to lose.

Imagine the Loftters at living in a shared space
with video cameras everywhere — broadcasting 24/7. That’s
what gay resident Mathieu has to deal with, on top of having his
image plastered at subway stops and construction sites.

The concept isn’t original; Sean Patrick [www.seanpatrick- was the first well—known gay guy to have cameras
hooked up in his apartment and even at work. But the twist at
U8tv is combining a MTV’s Real World feel with a continuous
live cam.

A few weeks ago I was invited to appear on the debut of
Mathieu’s new show —- SoGayTv. Every Thursday at 10pm
Mathieu tackles a different aspect of gay life, from drag queens
to bath houses and all that’s in between. The first episode dealt
with online porn and what it’s like to be online. I appeared on
the show with Pierce Vendetta (] from and three other live sex models (Guess you
could say I was the odd man out or just odd).

The technology at the loft is a computer geek’s wet dream. The
set-up includes several laptops that are used for chat, large
screen TVs and of course the cameras that are in each and every
room recording various angles; though, I noticed the one in the
bathroom was thankfully disconnected. Even the building has
three TV monitors placed in the front window, so that passersby
can watch the action inside the living room.

The Web site itself comes up fast and the chat rooms run very
smoothly. The only glitch is that the streams aren’t yet available
for Mac. Windows Media Player 7 is the software that is required
to view the feeds and it can be downloaded for free at the site.

A lot of cash has been invested by Alliance Atlantis to make
this happen but with 9,000 hits a day and between 50-100 chat-
ters at any give time, it appears already to be a success. With that
amount of viewers Mathieu will always be in the spotlight wher-

ever he goes, now or later. So far, he seems to like all the atten-‘

tion. Afterall, someone has got to do it and we all like to watch,

don’t we?