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The Evener
05-27-2019 at 05:11 PM
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Billy Mitchell Donkey Kong Dispute Review - the Sequel?

With the Memorial Day weekend coming to a close, there was some scuttlebutt today that attention surrounding Billy Mitchell’s removed Donkey Kong scores might be heating up again. Recall that over a year ago Billy pledged at the Southern Fried Gaming Expo that he would provide evidence of a professional investigation that would exonerate him of any wrong-doing - which in this case would boil down to evidence that proved he didn’t use MAME.

During serphintizer’s public Twitch stream, some interesting news was divulged by a well-respected DK player. A video recording of the stream hasn’t been posted, but there were several DKF members and a couple of TG members in the chat as well, so if there’s confusion on my part, perhaps they can chime in and provide corrections where necessary. If there's a piece of news I've forgotten, I'll edit and post it.

In summary, the following points were raised (that I can recall):

-paperwork is being finalized on a lawsuit - who the lawsuit is being directed at wasn’t specified, although given that the general conversation did touch upon Guinness and Jace Hall/Twin Galaxies, one can assume that the two organizations are relevant. The timing of the suit wasn't clarified. Of course a lawsuit was mentioned in the dispute review itself in March/April 2018, so whether it's another week or another year we'll have to see

-affidavits have been obtained from individuals who claimed they (publicly) watched Billy achieve his removed scores - however, it wasn’t specified what specific titles or scores during the stream. Given the context, they most likely pertain to his Mortgage Brokers and Boomer’s DK submissions but since all of his records were removed last April, it could theoretically include things like his Pac-Man run at Funspot

-this well-respected top DK player has provided their own testimony (I assume affidavit, I just forget if the word was specifically mentioned in this case) regarding Billy’s removed scores, concluding that they didn’t require save states to be achieved.

-presumably there's other evidence that wasn't raised during the stream

The entry in the 2019 Guinness World Records Gamer’s Edition was specifically cited as a grievance. For those who didn’t see it themselves, the small entry is called “The Records That Never Were…” It begins with Todd Rogers and Dragster, and continues with Billy Mitchell. “On 12 Apr 2018, TG repeated the act by stripping Billy Mitchell (USA) of all his records. These included two active Guinness World records: the highest score on Pac-Man and the first perfect score on Pac-Man. TG member Jeremy Young was able to prove that Mitchell’s submitted scores were obtained while using MAME (arcade emulation software), something that’s forbidden according to TG rules.” This passage was clearly edited too aggressively, as it drops mention that the dispute specifically pertained to submissions on Donkey Kong, and that submissions using MAME aren’t forbidden but must be submitted to the MAME track to account for specific requirements unique to emulator use and verification.

I’m really surprised to hear that Billy would contemplate a lawsuit of any kind given that his money could be better spent elsewhere, and for the fact that it opens him up directly to potentially having to weigh in / testify in a court when he has previously demonstrated a preference to avoid “on the record” testimony in favour of having surrogates such as Robert Childs and Joel West weigh in on his behalf. He seems to have a pretty good thing going with his Twitch stream, enjoying some exposure, interaction with fans, and promotion of his name/brand, so I’m not entirely sure why he would jeopardize that space he’s carved for himself. The thread of doubt he’s able to pull at when he’s speaking to fans will be graphically severed when either his suit fails muster or he simply loses the suit outright.

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  1. Snowflake's Avatar

    all i can do is speculate of course, but considering how long theres been talk of lawsuit, i think its just meant for his fans to hear and believe in. I think the hope is, without giving a date they can still say "someday some day" and by the time its clear its never happening it'll be old news noone cares about

    also i could be wrong, but as billy likes to have others speak for him, i believe it was his son who mentioned the lawsuit on more than one occasion while billy himself neither denied nor confirmed in characteristic fashion for him

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  2. The Evener's Avatar

    Good point, Snowflake. I partly hesitated to post about it since a "lawsuit" has been kicked around for a while, but with mention of affidavits and testimony from at least one DK player that the scores in question didn't use save states, I decided to post after all. I completely agree that a forever "pending lawsuit" has the benefit of demonstrating to fans that Billy is "going" to do something about it (in other words, he's innocent and he's going to prove it, stay tuned) but doesn't necessarily require any actual action - it can always be "planned." Whether one actually lands will be interesting.

  3. Snowflake's Avatar

    you also might like that his lawyer buddy sanders was putting out false info for him recently going with the flawed logic of "billy doesnt need to cheat" and to add credence to that logic implying he beat hnk(technically asking how he beat hank if hes a cheat). he was pretty quickly called out on that lie. he didnt take long to be silenced. his buddies did start learning its not the 90s anymore, they'll get caught if they lie for billy. its one thing to get caught lying on facebook its quite another to get caught lying under oath.

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  4. The Evener's Avatar

    Thanks for posting the exchange. That's the first time I heard of the "Billy beat Hank once" - sorry, this isn't the right word, but there really isn't another one - defence. It's also curious to hear Steve argue that "the videos don't prove anything!" when they were used to support Billy's claimed scores. Oh yeah, I forgot that they were supposedly "verified live by referee." I wonder how quick Steve will get Todd Rogers and Morningdove to testify in Billy's defence? And why not get Robert Childs to testify as well, and maybe he can expand a little more on his Boomer videos? All of this lawsuit bravado definitely carries a big "be careful what you wish for" caveat for Team Billy.

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    Updated 05-27-2019 at 08:28 PM by The Evener
  5. Marcade's Avatar

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  6. RTM's Avatar

    Billy's ego is so big that a lawsuit was both predictable and inevitable.

    Consider the following for a moment...

    1st - he can always re-do a "perfect Pacman" and, in the process, kill two birds with one stone by producing a run with an accurate fastest perfect time for that other related record instead of one that was "guesstimated"...and time to do so would be under 6 hours

    2nd - he is supposedly able to score in the 1.06M range now...well below his purported personal best and below his paces that were aborted on two known occasions, so he can get close to or beat his previous mark in less than 3 hours

    3rd - the DK Jr record is also easy for him to re-do or to at least come extremely close...another 3 hours

    4th - "Burgertime", one of his other records, is a strict pattern and does take a long time to do but would likely be the easiest for him to re-do never mind surpass...I am guessing 12-15 hours for this one, maybe less

    5th - "Centipede" would be the hardest since "spider trapping" would be disallowed

    6th - that would leave "Ms Pacman" and since he never had a kill screen game registered he can always set a new mark here...time to do so under 4 hours


    So...in less than two days time, without ANY need for lawsuits, Billy can come close to, match or surpass 5 of his 6 previous world records. Won't prove he didn't use MAME, but it would get him back on the scoreboard. Anecdotal evidence proves beyond reasonable doubt that he used MAME. HIS problem is that he sees this as being some form of libel/slander considering that the charge was made public in both print and via various Podcasts, etc. After all, remember when he was quick to sue over that cartoon clip ?

    The absolute irony here is that when a certain Los Angeles-based gamer routinely threatened to sue TG over HIS score-based issues with TG, Billy as former TG Board Member always viewed that as being a bit of a comical joke, and I know that as Roy's possible lawsuits were discussed on occasion with Walter as well as with Billy. Yet here he is 15-20 years later and doing the same thing that Roy threatened to do.

    Truly amazing are these "affadavits" that he is apparently planning on producing. I'm wondering who the roster of individuals are who will swear that they witnessed his gameplay performances in the entirety.

    Walter, if one of them, cannot be trusted as he is an "interested third party" considering their financial symbiosis over the years
    Todd, if another, has some major credibility issues to taint whatever affadavit he would sign
    Steve Sanders, who once claimed 3 million on DK, would be the absolute worst possible "witness" of all
    Chris Ayra, though totally respected in his own right, did once conspire with Billy to block Abdner Ashman's submitted "Ms Pacman" performance even in light of a validation from a recognized industry expert

    The smart thing to do would be to re-game...dropping any plans for a "lawsuit", and sucking it up. But Bill's ego won't allow for that. He will fight this to the bitter end...not unlike that Los Angeles-based gamer who has been battling TG for nearly 35 years now.

    Whatever PR damage control team convinced him that this so-called "Road to Redemption" stunt would be in his best interest is clearly giving him the worst possible advice for whatever retainer fee(s) he is paying to them for their "expertise" on the matter.

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  7. RTM's Avatar

    One more point to consider...not long ago a Billy Mitchell "Road to Redemption" musical of some sort was in the works...

    http://www.indyfringe.org/theatre-show/arcadefire-redemption-billy-mitchell

    I wonder if he will come out guns-a-blazing against the producers of this as well ?

    Clearly Billy has never shied away from playing the role of the "bad guy" as part of his media personae, but if this lawsuit idea backfires (as it likely will) then he could come off as being the biggest douche in the history of video gaming...maybe enough to warrant a second "South Park" parody episode in the process.

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  8. Snowflake's Avatar

    Not that it matters but redoing an old record isn’t always so easy. The suspiciousness of his not knowing how long it took to do something as important as Pac-Man aside and if not mistaken full video of the run not even existing only a partial video the consensus seems to be that he did it and even if he didn’t eventually learned how. He’s definitely recently learned dk after much obsession


    I’m not sure he could ever do the others “again” and certainly doubt a short time span. I have plenty of records I did for real but I could not easily redo five on command

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  9. Pat Larocque's Avatar

    Very well said RTM!! Once again you have proved that you are (and have always been) one of the few 'originals' with the voice of reason and common sense! Hats off to you good sir for always telling it like it is and not sugar coating nothing, and great job at pointing out some the most obvious facts that for some reason or other, most people like to either avoid or forget about Billy's main support system. Also how these people are less than credulous themselves when it comes to the truth (Like Mr. Ayra's part in helping Billy trying to bury Ashman's scrore, much like what he did with Bill Bastable in the late '80's).

    Robert is absolutely spot on with the fact that Billy's time would probably be better spent (and he would probably be somewhat redeemed) by re-doing his other scores like he has been doing recently on his twitch account with DK. In my opinion, this is nothing more than a full-blown narcissist competing in a pissing contest. If you can do the scores and want to be acknowledged publicly for said accomplishment, just shut up and prove that you can do them, end of story.

    This just unfortunately just shows once again how most of the former TG hierarchy is a nothing but a 'boys club' interested their own agenda instead of representing the facts.

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  10. The Evener's Avatar

    Quote Originally Posted by RTM

    One more point to consider...not long ago a Billy Mitchell "Road to Redemption" musical of some sort was in the works...

    http://www.indyfringe.org/theatre-show/arcadefire-redemption-billy-mitchell

    I wonder if he will come out guns-a-blazing against the producers of this as well ?

    Clearly Billy has never shied away from playing the role of the "bad guy" as part of his media personae, but if this lawsuit idea backfires (as it likely will) then he could come off as being the biggest douche in the history of video gaming...maybe enough to warrant a second "South Park" parody episode in the process.

    Sorry just running out the door but a few things I can squeeze in

    The producers of this play have become friends and boosters of Billy - one can only conclude as a result that the play treats his removal from the scoreboards as a crime, and generally concludes that someone of his caliber/talent would never resort to "MAME pretending to be arcade" submission antics.

    Part of his strategy is definitely replaying removed DK scores, as witnessed from his promotion of his Twitch-streamed 1.05 million score last November. He's currently gunning to achieve the Boomers 1.06 million score - he includes a per level pace chart on his stream now - but at a much reduced pace, aiming to end the game at 1.06 rather than the 1.125 that he was on pace to achieve before killing his game off at 21-1 back in 2010.


  11. Snowflake's Avatar

    Quote Originally Posted by RTM

    One more point to consider...not long ago a Billy Mitchell "Road to Redemption" musical of some sort was in the works...

    http://www.indyfringe.org/theatre-show/arcadefire-redemption-billy-mitchell

    I wonder if he will come out guns-a-blazing against the producers of this as well ?

    Clearly Billy has never shied away from playing the role of the "bad guy" as part of his media personae, but if this lawsuit idea backfires (as it likely will) then he could come off as being the biggest douche in the history of video gaming...maybe enough to warrant a second "South Park" parody episode in the process.


    yeah any speculation billy would sue is pretty wild indeed considering how publicy they've worked together. billy even advertised the play on his page -- you could argue he handed over control of his account to his son, so its technically his son who approved, but we now billy wouldnt allow control of his account for long if it wasnt used in a way he approved

    theres also no shortage of photos of them together

    now fine i cant see the future, but in highly unlikely situation billy somehow decides to sue, i think casey could pretty easily turn around and show all his former approval and completely undermine the lawsuit

    although, tim zerbie might sue them for stealing his story and cutting him out of life changing money :)

  12. EVN's Avatar

    Now that the dust has settled, he's still signing autographs and collecting appearance fees for attending events. Meanwhile, this place is probably in double digit active users. Who really "won"?

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  13. The Evener's Avatar

    There's no doubt that Billy has capitalized on his situation, but that's not to say that people aren't avoiding him or decide to get an autograph from the "guy who had all of his records removed." Ultimately, whether he makes more money now with appearance fees or less wasn't a consideration with the dispute review process. The only "punishment" flowing from the review is the removal of scores and players that don't uphold the integrity of the scoreboard. In that sense, the goal of the dispute review was/is to identify fraudulent scores, present and discuss evidence, provide TG an opportunity to weigh in and decide if the dispute has merit, and if it does, correct the scoreboard - and perhaps more importantly, correct the historical record. All of that has come to pass.

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    Updated 05-28-2019 at 02:51 PM by The Evener
  14. Snowflake's Avatar

    without doubt some of billy's fan will spin TG's issues as the punishment for going against billy and "proof" the TG decision is not to be trusted. Its frustrating, and it does look that way, but i'm pretty sure we all know its a coincidence. TG's issues are well, from general mismanagement. the billy dispute however got a very close hands on look from jace and was handled fine, so one really isnt an indicator of the other, but i know its being taken that way

    as for billy's success, honestly i've said it from the beginning, i dont mind him succeeding, just as long as its not done with trickery. if people still love him after all this, thats fine. if this destroys him, thats fine he had it coming, if this helps him thats fine too. the important thing is to gethe truth out there, what people do with the truth is up to them.

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  15. The Evener's Avatar
    Yes, TGs current circumstance has nothing to do with any past dispute review decisions. There's no doubt in my mind that Jace's decision to institute an open and documented dispute review process was revolutionary and moved classic competitive gaming to a higher level of integrity and accountability. TG's current situation is sadly a symptom of classic gaming competition more broadly - that the industry writ large simply works in a different space - money and eyeballs are elsewhere. Online CAG forums like KLOV are way down in members and activity compared to 10 or 15 years ago. I hear more and more that classic gamers are hanging out in places like Facebook groups. I've read numerous times about members "retiring" from the hobby or getting into pinball. l don't know what TG's second act will be, but no matter what the future brings, this era of TG has demonstrated that in competitive gaming, integrity and accuracy aren't optional.
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  16. EVN's Avatar

    I dunno, the scene seems to be alive and well here in Australia: http://bnepac.org/

    Billy and Walter will be there.


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  17. DareDiablo's Avatar

    Quote Originally Posted by RTM

    One more point to consider...not long ago a Billy Mitchell "Road to Redemption" musical of some sort was in the works...

    http://www.indyfringe.org/theatre-show/arcadefire-redemption-billy-mitchell

    I wonder if he will come out guns-a-blazing against the producers of this as well ?

    Clearly Billy has never shied away from playing the role of the "bad guy" as part of his media personae, but if this lawsuit idea backfires (as it likely will) then he could come off as being the biggest douche in the history of video gaming...maybe enough to warrant a second "South Park" parody episode in the process.


    Actually he helped with the production himself. People think they know Billy but have never really spent any time with him. It's easy to judge someone you know only from a documentary.

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  18. Marcade's Avatar

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  19. Snowflake's Avatar

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcade


    i'll attack those semantics and say we're amateur not professional since we dont get paid :)

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  20. The Evener's Avatar

    Quote Originally Posted by EVN

    I dunno, the scene seems to be alive and well here in Australia: http://bnepac.org/

    Billy and Walter will be there.

    Yes, there seems to be some increased visibility as of late.

    My observations about a contracting CAG scene are purely anecdotal of course, but measurable at least through less forum use. What's the pinball scene like in Australia? In my neck of the woods, the "CAG scene" is dwarfed by love of the silver ball. I know a number of classic gamers who eventually left video games behind for pinball competition.

    I keep hearing that Facebook groups are really active, but I just don't want to use Facebook so I'm probably missing out. That said, I do take your point about how TG "feels" as of late - I get the impression that it's the same small-ish core group of people making wall posts, and a slightly expanded group submitting scores. Maybe the feeling of "isolation" is being amplified by what feels like a TG scene that isn't being actively cultivated/curated/promoted by Jace Hall circa 2015-2018. Definitely feels different.

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