In a world in which almost all of the regular status indicators, clothes appearance accent ect., no longer play a role the online community uses another set of criteria for measuring others. This system is based primarily around intelligence grammar and spelling as well as general writing style all can and are used to measure the relative intelligence of a person in a virtual setting but the judgment hardly ends there. Many arguments, no matter the original topic, devolve into attempts to prove that the other person is simply an idiot. Such accusations are backed up by picking apart the target’s grammar spelling and minutiae of knowledge about the subject at hand. Given that access to the internet and thus Wikipedia and other such arguments are rarely about the date of a particular event or other facts which can easily be looked up, though these also occur, but most often revolve around arguments with no definite answer, or at least one which cannot be easily looked up. Anything from politics to current events and sports can be the topics of these discussions and an in-depth knowledge of the topic at hand as well as the skill with which that argument is presented are both used as indicators of status within the online community.
Another measure of status is the use of humor online. Not only can one present themselves as being a longtime member of the community by employing longstanding jokes or memes but new and original humor, witty observations, and ingenious insults can all be used to mark out status. These jokes sometimes employ lore from the game to create their humor and in so doing further show their knowledge of the community. However all intelligent humor is respected online and those who employ it effectively, especially on forums, are often rewarded a number of “internets”. Not all humor is based around insults to other players but that is certainly a large portion of it and that combined with the discussion suggest that a significant amount of status in the virtual world can be gained at the cost of others. While other means of status certainly exist, such as level and skill, and players who employ deprecating methods too heavily will only earn themselves scorn the online community can be vicious in its remorselessness.