Statistical contests are debates, games, sports matches, and similar two-person competitions utilizing forking to minimize the influence of chance and provide statistical, rather than boolean, results. For example, two boxers might each make 100 forks of themselves, then have 100 boxing matches. Whoever wins the most matches is the winner overall.
Some viewers dislike statistical contests, preferring the excitement of high stakes on single outcomes, while others dislike them because they must almost always be held in simulspace. They have still become popular, however, being favored by bookies, who have much more data to work with, and providing vastly more material for highlight reels.
On some Autonomist habitats, statistical contest software is used to hold the largest of possible debates, with each ego forking so as to engage in a full discussion with every other ego. This is practical only in smaller habitats, even with post-singularity computers, the number of debates to be simulated can quickly become unreasonable. Even on larger habitats, they are often used to settle disputes among small groups.