Mod My Life is so amazingly uncomfortable it's wonderful
Control people through Webcams with Mod My Life. Does this sound creepy? It is a little, but it's more fun than anything else.
I've really enjoyed seeing the lifecasting movement take off. I can't say I feel the need to visit these sites on a regular basis, but like a roller coaster built for children, they provide enjoyable moments mixed in with some less-than-incredible build-up. One of the newest entrants to the space is Mod My Life, which shares a lot in common with its other lifecasting brethren by mixing up live Webcam footage with user chat. The twist is that the person with the Webcam is an actor or comedian, and the audience gets to control what he or she is doing.
All the user-created actions are created and voted on by users, and they show up in an upcoming section that lets the group weed out the good ideas from the bad. The four most popular get dropped into a voting pool where users can vote on the item as many times as they like until the time runs out. The "Modstars," which are the people with the cameras strapped to their heads, then has to go do what people have told them to do.
While watching last night I was treated to several awkward moments of Modstar Jason Wilder Evans bothering people around the greater New York area before managing to somehow walk into what looked like an attempted robbery with a baseball bat. The robbery had just been broken up by the convenience store's security guard. We never really found out what happened, but the damage had been done, and I sat quietly in awe along with the rest of the viewers as Jason called the police and recounted what had happened with other witnesses.
The rest of the show wasn't nearly as gripping as that bit, but like the creators have told me, a lot of it depends on the Modstar, and other variables like location, time of day, and what ideas the community has got cooking. In many ways it's a lot like Justin.TV when they first started out. Far from what Justin Kan and company have expanded to now with their platform and live channel selection, Mod My Life is treading a slightly different path and trying to pack as much as they can into just an hour or less instead of going for daylong marathons. For that, I think viewers who are willing to base their watching around the "time slot" will be getting more bang for their buck (note: the site is free).
Mod My Life has some fun things that set it apart from the rest. One is their multicamera setup, which creator Andrew Keidel tells me they can run in both first- and third-person perspectives (even at the same time). The voting system is also pretty neat, although a little too easy to game considering once an item is up, you can vote on it as many times as you'd like. The team is experimenting with various ways to implement user voting, but in the meantime you can have a great deal of (mischievous) fun clicking your mouse button and watching the counter go up.
I can honestly say anyone who enjoys some of the discomfort of watching something like Borat, or Trigger Happy TV would find Mod My Life a fairly enjoyable chunk of entertainment. One of the joys of it all is really not knowing what you're about to watch. I originally intended to watch about 20 minutes, but ended up sticking around for the full hour, and likely would have stuck around longer since Jason appeared to finally be warming up.
The site is still in private beta, with the intent to launch publicly before the end of the year. In the meantime, you can head over to ModMyLife.com and sign up to be a beta tester.