For quite a while, I've had a webcam. It began as simply yet another gadget I just had to add to my collection. I pointed it at my face from atop my monitor and visitors to my website could see what I was doing. Boring, but at least I got to play with a nifty gadget.

In two years of owning a webcam, I've taken great care not to be caught naked by it. Last week, I moved into a new house with two of my friends. Yesterday, we set up our computer room and the webcam went on. Almost immediately, everyone but me went into this crazy fit of clothes-removal in front of the live public camera.

Normally, these people wouldn't be known to run around removing their clothing. But something about the webcam makes them yearn to be naked. What is it? Are these people freaks, or do webcams have this effect on everyone?