From the introduction:
Outside the Arena, Psycheball players deliberately undermine their own lives. The best players have the most personal problems and emotional struggles to deal with. The turmoil of their life provides mental fuel for their powers in the Arena. To succeed at the game, players sabotage their relationships and hurt those they love, or are hurt by them instead.
With the MeatPuppet of your physical body forgotten in some remote room, its input diminished by hard drugs and soft restraints, the virtual body of your Avatar and impressions of the Arena fill your senses. The lights dim. A spotlight hits you. Around the Arena, other spots reveal the Avatars of your opponents. The buzzer sounds. Remember your training. Aim for your opponents’ subconscious, and guard your mind from attack. The whole network is watching.