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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 17 ensure that it is about skill. Nobody is going to insult another player’s mother in smack, another dueling genre. At Virtual World the boundaries of smack are clearly delineated around the story. Pilots will stick to comments about "pylons," "Solaris VII," and a "dusty T-shaped control," all elements of the BattleTech universe. The second point of Pilot X’s speech is to issue a put down. He is saying that the community is better off without hearing so much about the two pilots. Later, he questions Pilot A’s skill by calling attention to how another opponent’s ineptitude – double boosting into another vehicle – led to Pilot A's victory. The effect of this is that Pilot X is saying he is more skilled than pilots A and B. Pilot X has to give the other pilot a chance to respond. The third point of smack talk is that the first exchange should lead to an answer of like or greater kind. It escalates the situation by the fact that it takes the aggressive or good- natured elements of the comment further. Pilot A lists his and PILOT B's accomplishments to show that they are superior in skill to Pilot X. He then sarcastically returns the insult to Pilot X. He does this in question form, a response that almost is sure to generate a further response. This puts the two players in a head-to-head conflict. The fourth point is to leave the door open for a challenge. There is a certain amount of swagger that two or more pilots have to display in smack talk. But they also have to maintain the boundaries of the genre if they are not to go too far. The verbal duel has to be both good natured and pointed in its attack. Sometimes other pilots may enter into the smack talk to help maintain those boundaries, as someone did in a later post. The closeness of the people in this subculture and the mutual recognition of the convention, however, prevents the offended from taking counterproductive action. Pilots are careful to maintain playful interaction. For example, they are careful to stick to present or past tense. Past tense helps to display familiarity. Changing to future tense might attack a

Authors: Tew, Chad.
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A Challenge to the Duel
17
ensure that it is about skill. Nobody is going to insult another player’s mother in smack,
another dueling genre. At Virtual World the boundaries of smack are clearly delineated
around the story. Pilots will stick to comments about "pylons," "Solaris VII," and a
"dusty T-shaped control," all elements of the BattleTech universe. The second point of
Pilot X’s speech is to issue a put down. He is saying that the community is better off
without hearing so much about the two pilots. Later, he questions Pilot A’s skill by
calling attention to how another opponent’s ineptitude – double boosting into another
vehicle – led to Pilot A's victory. The effect of this is that Pilot X is saying he is more
skilled than pilots A and B. Pilot X has to give the other pilot a chance to respond. The
third point of smack talk is that the first exchange should lead to an answer of like or
greater kind. It escalates the situation by the fact that it takes the aggressive or good-
natured elements of the comment further. Pilot A lists his and PILOT B's
accomplishments to show that they are superior in skill to Pilot X. He then sarcastically
returns the insult to Pilot X. He does this in question form, a response that almost is sure
to generate a further response. This puts the two players in a head-to-head conflict. The
fourth point is to leave the door open for a challenge. There is a certain amount of
swagger that two or more pilots have to display in smack talk. But they also have to
maintain the boundaries of the genre if they are not to go too far. The verbal duel has to
be both good natured and pointed in its attack. Sometimes other pilots may enter into the
smack talk to help maintain those boundaries, as someone did in a later post. The
closeness of the people in this subculture and the mutual recognition of the convention,
however, prevents the offended from taking counterproductive action. Pilots are careful
to maintain playful interaction. For example, they are careful to stick to present or past
tense. Past tense helps to display familiarity. Changing to future tense might attack a


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