"The most visible of all video gamers" I have to admire his humility. I guess at one time it was true. But there are pairs of tits on Twitch more famous than him now.
Is he in the right on this? Is the statement that "his scores were valid since they were recorded on “certified arcade boards in front of hundreds of people” accurate? This was a big part of his life. I remember reading about him in EGM almost 20 years ago. I don't like to see anybody get screwed, even if this not something I've particularly invested in. Hopefully the truth will come out.
Well I have to be careful about discussing this lest I be taken to court...
But yeah he cheated.
Essentially the way MAME (or another emulator) will load levels and such is different than how the original arcade boards will load screens. So there are certain little visual things that happen on MAME that will not happen on legit hardware. In the videos for at least two of his million+ scores there are certain visual effects that happen on MAME but not arcade hardware. It seems pretty open shut.
Of course there's the possibility that he played on an emulator but still didn't cheat, but the use of emulators itself is a no-no, and leads to suspicion.
The videos show what they show so whoever he's essentially placing eye witness testimony against video evidence, and the video evidence is going to win out.