A flashy amusement for some, or a serious manner to resolve a dispute for others, an IF duel is a long-standing tradition in a Russian IF community.
The code duello is this.
A morally acceptable duel starts because of an argument or an insult, to defend one’s honor or statement. An insult could be thrown in an argument, for which a duel challenge is a perfectly normal response. A challenger must issue an invitation for a duel directly to the offender.
If the challenged refuses the challenge, he may be subject to ridicule and disgrace. Otherwise, the challenged must agree on the duel rules with the challenger.
If the challenger and the challenged don’t want to talk, they may choose their seconds. They also may choose an arbiter to decide on the outcome. The seconds (and the arbiter, for that matter) can be a single person.
The seconds must choose the weapon and the rules.
The duel is always public. Any updates are posted in a popular venue (typically a forum) for the sake of the community. There can be a betting corner.
A weapon of duel is a game or a game-related product.
The rules describe the timeframe, weapon features (game theme, game engine, mandatory words, game size) and the process of ruling the outcome. An important section is “actions after the outcome” - what is the risk for the loser and the prize for the victor.
The rules can be determined with bets: parties take turns placing their bets until they are agreed on the “price”.
An arbiter is an independent person who decides on the outcome. The decision may be automatic, if the parties send their games to an established contest or another independent event.
If one party failed to appear (i.e. provide a game), he is accounted a loser and a coward. The appearing party wins by default, for which the seconds and the arbiter bear witness. The loser may be subject to a public condemnation.
If both parties failed to appear, the duel is rescheduled for an indeterminate time until the new rules are set. Both parties may be subject to a surprised condemnation.
The loser acts as it was agreed upon the rules. (issues an apology, sends a prize to the victor, agrees he’s wrong etc.) or is subject to shaming, ridicule and disgrace.
An unfinished game automatically wins over an unwritten one.
The outcome of the duel gets written down on the wiki as a reminder for future generations. There can be a summary table of wins and losses, for the sake of the betting corner.
It could be seen as a curious tradition, but don’t be fooled: this Code was written in blood over many disputes. Of course, every duel can be agreed to proceed under any other ruleset.
There can be more than two challengers, though the rules are the same.
It’s worth mentioning that a duel is a civil fashion. It can reduce the amount of shame, ridicule and disgrace, so do it in good faith. An excessive name-calling may result in another duel shortly afterwards.