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A Challenge to the Duel: Socializing Dedicated Virtual Reality Fans to the Ideology of Textualism
Unformatted Document Text:  A Challenge to the Duel 12 players take social risks. They walk a fine line between issuing a challenge and creating bad blood in a small, tight-knit community. Through the duel, however, they transform the monetary transaction between Virtual World and themselves as paying customers into a noncommercial act that requires reciprocity between members of a community. Since the whole purpose of smack talk is to produce a game between pilots, or sometimes to adjudicate dishonorable behavior, players create their own frame for games by performing the verbal duel. In contrast with other methods for initiating games, pilots find it more interesting to add spice with talk and create a reason for going to battle. That is why smack talk takes place between games. The result of the duel should be to make an appointment for a game whose battle will set the record straight. Smack talk exists in part because players are supposed to blow each other up. Respondents in both the 1991 and 2000 surveys were asked if they enjoyed blowing people up, and both surveys overwhelmingly produced an affirmative response. 12 Table 1.2, however, shows an inverse relationship between the two samples on the issue of familiarity. TABLE 1.2. WHICH IS MORE FUN TO BLOW UP, PEOPLE YOU KNOW OR STRANGERS? 1991 2000 GOOD FRIENDS 35% 74% ACQUAINTANCES 5% 0% STRANGERS 5% 0% NO DIFFERENCE 57% 26% The most recent survey establishes that dedicated pilots have a greater appreciation for blowing people up when they know the person on the receiving end and have developed a respect for their skill, strategy and personality. The earlier survey conducted by Carrie Heeter questioned players at all levels. The majority in her survey said that it really didn’t matter who they blew up as long as they blew them up. What is also surprising is that the

Authors: Tew, Chad.
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A Challenge to the Duel
12
players take social risks. They walk a fine line between issuing a challenge and creating
bad blood in a small, tight-knit community. Through the duel, however, they transform
the monetary transaction between Virtual World and themselves as paying customers into
a noncommercial act that requires reciprocity between members of a community.
Since the whole purpose of smack talk is to produce a game between pilots, or
sometimes to adjudicate dishonorable behavior, players create their own frame for games
by performing the verbal duel. In contrast with other methods for initiating games, pilots
find it more interesting to add spice with talk and create a reason for going to battle. That
is why smack talk takes place between games. The result of the duel should be to make
an appointment for a game whose battle will set the record straight. Smack talk exists in
part because players are supposed to blow each other up. Respondents in both the 1991
and 2000 surveys were asked if they enjoyed blowing people up, and both surveys
overwhelmingly produced an affirmative response.
12
Table 1.2, however, shows an
inverse relationship between the two samples on the issue of familiarity.
TABLE 1.2. WHICH IS MORE FUN TO BLOW UP,
PEOPLE YOU KNOW OR STRANGERS?
1991
2000
GOOD FRIENDS 35%
74%
ACQUAINTANCES 5%
0%
STRANGERS 5%
0%
NO
DIFFERENCE 57%
26%
The most recent survey establishes that dedicated pilots have a greater appreciation for
blowing people up when they know the person on the receiving end and have developed a
respect for their skill, strategy and personality. The earlier survey conducted by Carrie
Heeter questioned players at all levels. The majority in her survey said that it really didn’t
matter who they blew up as long as they blew them up. What is also surprising is that the


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