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sprinter461
06-22-2020 at 11:04 AM
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Billy Mitchell Scores

Billy Mitchell and his scores getting re-instated by Guinness... seems like it's all I've been asked about recently.

People think I hate Billy. And ask why was he in my doc? So most people here today really have no idea of so many things historical related to TG. I was there. Too many people think that answer is bullshit too. It's claimed I have an "agenda" against Billy somehow.

Twin Galaxies was based at least in part in my home town of Ottumwa IA. I say in part...because that was actually the SECOND Twin Galaxies I visited. I had an older brother that lived in Kirksville MO. I used to stay with him in the summer for different periods of time. I'd take my BMX bike and ride it around town down there. They had 3 arcades within a two block stretch just off the city square. I don't recall the name of the other two. I remember this one, because I met Walter Day there. Before ever knowing there was one in Ottumwa IA. So I don't truly know which was "first". Walter claims Ottumwa... but I've been around long enough to know that what's claimed, isn't always what is true. I've heard Walter say the name just came to him one night... but he never mentions having two facilities simultaneously. At least if he does or did, It's more of a one time thing... I always "assumed" the name was explicitly due to the fact that he had two facilities, and they had the same/very similar decor etc...

Now that we've gotten that out of the way... was I there day 1? No. But I was there. A lot. And I met a lot of people. Billy was one of them. Not planning to write a book here... so short version, Walter chose 5 players to make up what I originally and for years thought to be the only incarnation of the U.S. National Video Game Team. This isn't about that either. Just mentioning it because Billy and I were 2 of the 5 members.

When this new score system went in here at Twin Galaxies... and the scores of Todd Rogers and Billy Mitchell came under fire... it pissed me off. It felt like an attack on us old timers. Had enough of this **** over the years. If I can't beat it, it must be impossible... time and again that was the only defined argument to invalidate scores over the course of TGs existence. Many many times... scores were removed and were later beaten... proven at least that the removed scores HAD BEEN POSSIBLE... this isn't about that either...

Billy's scores... not rehashing it. It's on the site. Look it up. He was given ample opportunity and time to acquit himself and explain what was being challenged. How it was possible. Why it was the way it was. He dumfounded me time and again... by not attemptiong to do so personally. Sending "errand boys" essentially. No offense meant to these individuals. I believe they were acting on Billy's behalf because they were friends, and/or were asked to. It was just beyond... I don't know the right words here... it was fucking stupid. The defense. Or lack therof. Everything they tried to explain it with, was debunked. Jace went thru money and time, buying equipment to attempt to replicate what he was being told caused the footage to display the way it did. Some take this as Jace trying to nail Billy. Personally I was astounded Jace would spend time and money to replicate it at all. For any reason. The burden of proof was on Billy. Any way...

I posted a tweet this morning to cover this. But a tweet can only be so long...so here I am.

Back to Billy. I can't tell you a date, it's not like I had a notepad with me and recorded dates and times of when I first met a person... if I had to guess, maybe Easter break? It was early 1983 when I met Billy. I've considered him a friend from then until now. If he doesn't feel the same, that's his choice. Billy has never treated me poorly to my face. He's never been bad to me behind my back that I am aware of. Even today, I have nothing to say bad about the guy.

But facts are facts.

I didn't want to believe Todd or Billy cheated. But Billy... we go back to the early 80's, much farther than Todd and I. We were teammates on the USNVGT. No offense to Todd at all. But Billy and I just had more history together. So I probably took his a bit more personally. So I followed thru the entire DK thing. I poked my nose into the comments a few times. Despite what some people think...I hate to argue. That's a big reason why you don't see me here often. That aspect of this board...and others as well, have almost made me hate classic arcade gaming completely. No time or desire for the B.S. that it always entails...seems like far more time is wasted arguing about irrelevant topics that could have been better spent actually PLAYING games and enjoying the games! Seems like all anybody cares about anymore is the almighty dollar. As if that many people are actually making money at any of this... anyway...back on topic.

After what, nearly a year? More? A final decision was reached. Billy cheated. And his scores were removed.

I had made peace with it far before then. The evidence was overwhelming. The correct decision was reached, in my opinion. Billy had ample opportunity to explain it. Chose not to. I think the reasons are clear why. There was no other credible answer. It's not real hardware. Whatever it was, MAME, or something else...it could not be replicated on real hardware. Especially damning was the fact Jace unsuccessfully failed to re-create it on the hardware, replicating the setup it was claimed to have been recorded on originally.

Billy's records were stripped. So I'm happy right?

Why the hell would that make me happy? This is somebody I consider a friend. This was from my era at TG. A number of people have suspected a number of old scores for whatever reason, for a long time now. So now I am from an era where two members, highly visibile members have now had their scores stripped. Two friends of mine. How could that possibly make me happy? Take away the fact they were my friends for a moment... how does that situation make me happy? Regardless of who, the game, the score etc... that's from my time, my group, my era. So if the press or public is focusing on these old time records, and the fact they are being proven as lies... even if I don't know the people involved, It makes me part of it too. It makes all of us look bad from that era. So how can I possibly have joy for something like that?

Billy threatens to sue.

The black eye is still black... and more in focus than ever. Twin Galaxies is it's own thing. It's own private entity or whatever the legal classification is. I'm not a lawyer... ask Steve Sanders or Jace etc... but they are allowed to set their own rules. And enforce them. Their rules are in writing. They are clear. They are concise. So TG says you broke the rules, we are removing your scores... and you are going to sue? So if you went to McDonalds, and saw "No Shoes, No Shirt, No Service" and you were asked to leave... would you run to your lawyer? Same thing here.

According to the stuff I've seen online... some sort of "compelling new evidence" caused Guinness to re-instate Billy's scores. OK. Where is it? Let's see it. All the evidence is there showing what his scores were removed. Let's see the evidence that compelled Guinness to overturn their decision and break with Twin Galaxies. The users here will be able to examine it. The knowledge contained within this site, regarding video games...far outweighs any law firm hired. And in my opinion there isn't any evidence, just lawyers. If there is evidence, why are NDAs ever involved in this stuff?

Here's my (two) tweet(s) from earlier:

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tim McVey

@sprinter461

·
3h


Let me clear this up regarding my opinion on Billy Mitchell and whether he cheated. I didn't want to believe he cheated. I've known Billy since we were teens. But overwhelming evidence showed he DID cheat. So until I see new "evidence" proving otherwise... he cheated. OK?


The fact Guinness, under legal threat of a lawsuit caved and re-instated his scores... does NOT qualify as "evidence". I can release a press statement saying anything. Show the evidence. The truth will set you free. Hiding behind lawyers will not.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

And that's the Cliff Notes version of this post. The evidence for removal was fairly overwhelming. I agree with the decision. I don't know what sort of legal finaggling took place to make Guinness cave... but if that's the end of it for them, in my eyes they now have zero credibility as it comes to video game records.

Now what?

Well I'm now more than a little curious as to how this plays out between Billy Mitchell and Twin Galaxies in the courts... if it goes that far...or if a settlement is agreed to and reached prior to that point. I think if Twin Galaxies re-instates his scores without a court order, or some sort of replicatable method using legit hardware...then they risk losing all credibility. Of course that is up to others...not myself to ultimately decide. I'm pretty much retired, and don't see any submittable scores coming from me as likely in the future.


Am I still Billy's friend? That's up to him.

Comments
  1. redelf's Avatar

    I read the whole thing, when Tim has something to say I like to hear about it. He was and still is a big part of the history back then. Yeah when it becomes a friend of yours and more personal the betrayal is greater and the story has more meaning than to someone who is just reading about it.

  2. Marcade's Avatar

    "Truth of the matter is"... Walter Day is the only one I truly respect from that era.

    And him I can support, and can call a true friend! Always!

    No one else makes you feel like the most important person in the room.

    Everyone else from that time...typical overinflated ego, all about promoting themselves!

    (Some simply sell it better than others)

    There...I said it. :)

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  3. Ninglendo's Avatar

    Billy never threatened Guinness with a lawsuit. That's fake news.

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  4. Snowflake's Avatar

    at a minimum billy threatened to sue, and as such many articles said he did. i cant verify or debunk the articles saying he sued as i dont know how to dig up court filing. but i do know we have this threat to sue at least

    https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/6404367/Retraction-Letter-9-9-19.pdf


    so people acting like it had nothing to do with lawsuits and just secret evidence to guinness are really trying to gaslight into their revision of history.

  5. The Evener's Avatar

    Quote Originally Posted by Ninglendo

    Billy never threatened Guinness with a lawsuit. That's fake news.

    Referring to the link shared by Snowflake:

    "Each corporation [TG and Guinness] has a 14-day deadline to review the information and issue the retraction, or we will resort to legal recourse, our final option."

    What are you referring to?


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  6. Pearl2hu's Avatar

    gaming

  7. datagod's Avatar

    Tim, I look forward to you changing your mind and submitting some scores. I would like to see you take the Tapper world record or some other game like that.

    Your friend,

    Datagod

  8. sprinter461's Avatar

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcade

    "Truth of the matter is"... Walter Day is the only one I truly respect from that era.

    And him I can support, and can call a true friend! Always!

    No one else makes you feel like the most important person in the room.

    Everyone else from that time...typical overinflated ego, all about promoting themselves!

    (Some simply sell it better than others)

    There...I said it. :)

    Of course you feel this way. Look at your profile picture. That's all part of Walter's charm.
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  9. sprinter461's Avatar

    Quote Originally Posted by datagod

    Tim, I look forward to you changing your mind and submitting some scores. I would like to see you take the Tapper world record or some other game like that.

    Your friend,

    Datagod

    I never say never to anything... but this is highly unlikely. I'm only really playing 3 games, none of them score based. I've got a good group of friends together in a clan for The Division 2... Tina and I both enjoy playing Diablo III together...both of those are on PC. And I play a lot of Clash of Clans. I've built my own clan up to a level 14 over the past few years. Clash is easy to play any time anywhere...

    Working at home has taken a deep cut into my gaming time...since I am working in the chair and at the desk I normally game at. When work is over...I just want to leave the room. I bought a new gaming laptop, mouse, controller, headset... so I can get out of "the office" so to speak each day. But I haven't as of yet really got back into my stride gaming. I am however looking forward to the next season of Diablo III as usual.

    I need to update my BitKit. I need to get Crush Roller, Crazy Kong, and Galaxian installed. Most looking forward to playing some Crush Roller and Galaxian honestly. I keep saying I'm going to blast all the various Nibbler scores on the BitKit scoreboards... but then I never do it. Just disinterested in general about messing with it. I'd rather jump into Division 2 with my clan and spend some time gaming with friends.

    But who knows... I need to get BitKit updated... and get something setup to stream on my laptop. I will most likely use Flash Media Live Encoder again because it allowed me to stream and record in the past. And I can quickly set it up using the settings on my old laptop. I'd like to have it all setup...just in case. The dedicated webcam is still mounted on Nibbler. I might get bored some Saturday while Tina is at work...and my clanmates are off doing something else...

    The plus side to not gaming... Tina and I have gotten caught up on our movie back log...and we finally binge watched thru Breaking Bad. Then watched El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie. And now we are into Season 4 of Better Call Saul. Better late than never huh?

    P.S. I SUCK at Tapper. So that's definitely off the list.
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    Updated 06-22-2020 at 07:06 PM by sprinter461
  10. sprinter461's Avatar

    Quote Originally Posted by redelf

    I read the whole thing, when Tim has something to say I like to hear about it. He was and still is a big part of the history back then. Yeah when it becomes a friend of yours and more personal the betrayal is greater and the story has more meaning than to someone who is just reading about it.

    Thanks John, I appreciate that. I dont know that the stuff I say always needs to be heard... but nothing pisses me off more than being told I am wrong about something I witnessed ya know? The entire thing with Billy... It's like a bad soap opera that never ends... and it makes your friend look bad...and makes the entire scene look bad to the casual public that I think generally thinks us old people still playing the old games is crazy enough to begin with...

    I'm just pretty much over all of it. I have far more fun playing PC games with my friends. One of the very coolest things for me lately... reconnected with Bill McAlister (yes one L) on Facebook. Bill is into PC gaming as well. His rig puts mine to shame. He went totally top shelf. Been fun reconnecting, catching up...finding we are in similar places with our gaming today etc... Bill was there back in the day. He was originally from Oskaloosa. But he started coming down to Ottumwa (30 minute drive) to Twin Galaxies. He was the marathon record holder on Lost Tomb back in the day.

    Hope you are doing well. Been a while since we've talked. :)
  11. sprinter461's Avatar

    Quote Originally Posted by Ninglendo

    Billy never threatened Guinness with a lawsuit. That's fake news.

    Threatened to sue... same difference basically. Lawyers. Legal threats... my bad. Edited just for you.
    Updated 06-22-2020 at 07:20 PM by sprinter461
  12. sprinter461's Avatar

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcade



    Actually Tim, I just did a speed run on your original post.

    I stopped reading each paragraph at "So".

    So... I'm out of participation trophies. Sorry.
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  13. datagod's Avatar

    PC gaming is awesome. I don't have the time to get into it much so I stick to simple games like WreckFest . My kids love Steam and we have computers all over the house. They love playing Minecraft, Terraria, and gazillions of roblox games. We have a huge collection of consoles and games, my son is going through multiple X box 360 games right now. Everythign is such a good bargain if you simply play one or two generation oder games.

    Glad to see you are enjoying video games. It seems like too many people have forgotten they are supposed to be fun and not about getting fame and money.

    Your friend,

    Datagod

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  14. sprinter461's Avatar

    Quote Originally Posted by datagod

    PC gaming is awesome. I don't have the time to get into it much so I stick to simple games like WreckFest . My kids love Steam and we have computers all over the house. They love playing Minecraft, Terraria, and gazillions of roblox games. We have a huge collection of consoles and games, my son is going through multiple X box 360 games right now. Everythign is such a good bargain if you simply play one or two generation oder games.

    Glad to see you are enjoying video games. It seems like too many people have forgotten they are supposed to be fun and not about getting fame and money.

    Your friend,

    Datagod

    I played Guitar Hero III a couple of weekends ago, for about 4 hours or so on PC. I forgot how much fun that game was. Also still have a bunch of stuff to unlock. The latest Guitar Hero on Xbox One left a bad taste... the songlist sucked. So much so, that I entirely skipped Rock Band 4. A fact I am now regretting. Prices are insane. Looks like it had a much better song list, and I chose the wrong game.

    Steam is amazing. So many places to get games so cheap it nuts. I can't ever see going back to consoles.

    I am however slightly intersted in the new Xbox. My drive is starting to fail in the 360. It will only open if there is a disc inside. So I leave one of those clear transparent protector discs...from a spindle of recordable discs... in the tray when I shut the system off. If the new console will fully replace the 360 and the One, and play all of my physical discs from both... I'm in.

    Tina and I are both really looking forward to Diablo IV.
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