Twin Galaxies formally declares Billy Mitchell, famous retro gamer and record holder, to be a cheat. The scorekeeping organization is removing all of his records and banning Billy from future competition.
A History Lesson
Billy Mitchell originally earned gaming fame when he set the world record for Donkey Kong in 1982. His star continued to rise as he accumulated more records in the following years. The retro gaming scene showered Billy Mitchell with recognition. He was the first pop star of gaming. Director Seth Gordon brought his story to the mainstream with the 2007 documentary, The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters.
But many people suspected Billy of cheating his way to the top. Billy refused multiple invites to recreate his records in public. Peter Dinklage portrayed an obvious Billy Mitchell stand-in in the 2015 film Pixels; a character revealed to be a cheater. Later, The Cartoon Network program Regular Show features a character that is such an unflattering analog of Billy that he tried to take them to court. Finally, on August 28th, 2017, Jeremy Young (@xelnia) formally disputed Billy Mitchell’s Donkey Kong world record.
Twin Galaxies released its rather wordy formal statement today. The investigators found enough evidence to invalidate the Donkey Kong record. Twin Galaxies also revoked all other records he holds and permanently banned him. Investigators found that the original recordings showed board transition images that cannot be displayed by unmodified arcade hardware. Runs from modified arcade cabinets or emulators are invalid per Twin Galaxies standards. Investigators were unable to determine how Billy Mitchell generated the invalid score. However, that is irrelevant. The investigation only needed to determine that the scores were not produced using a valid arcade machine. Then, damningly, the third party Billy Mitchell engaged to examine dispute cases came to the same conclusion. Billy himself never commented on the dispute.
Twin Galaxies has been struggling with cheaters for years and has been criticized for doing too little to weed out cheaters from holding coveted records. Hopefully such a harsh ostracization of their most public record holder helps bring legitimacy back to the decades old organization.