Player versus player is a term that describes virtual combat between two or more live human-controlled avatars, using gameplay mechanics, specific to the game, during the competition. The nature of the competition can run the gamut of possible coded ideas, such as classic board games to player killing or deathmatch -- full contact, unarmed or weaponized violence between players' avatars.
The confrontation can be voluntary or involuntary, and can result in a modification of player or avatar status, as allowed by the gameplay rules, such as permanent or temporary death of the player's avatar, score tally, an object gift or forfeiture, or reward status as only limited by the programmed context within the game. Real life consequences or rewards can be available, depending on the psychologies and sociologies of the game's community (see social status).
Involuntary confrontrations typically occur in the normal gameworld environment, where a player might not expect to be a target. However, the presence of a player in a game server that allows for such confrontations can indicate that the player voluntarily accepts the situations and rules that could occur, but may involuntarily engage in the fight.
Voluntary confrontations, where a player may actively seek engagement for fun, revenge or profit, can occur in the normal gameworld environment or arenas: special rooms designated for such combat, constructed by the server code as needed, and/or hard-coded in the game and loaded upon game server boot time, with static, unchanging layouts, configurations, and specialized event rules for the encounter. Combatants' avatars may be transferred to the specialized arena location when they accept such a challenge.
Teams, guilds, clans and other organizations, as allowed by server code or by internal/external social representation, can be created to facilitate a shared roleplay or real life ideology (i.e. "elf eradication", "dwarf solidarity", "fans of Starbucks") and for protection, persecution or other social drives toward and from other in-game groups.
- Player Killing -- the act, through combat or other means, of legally removing another player's avatar from active gameplay, either permanently or temporarily.
- Telepresence -- some MUDs may allow realtime spectator or other non-impacting involvement and participation of the events of the competition