Forums - Gaming Discussion - First King of Kong then King of Cheaters now King of Lawsuits?

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https://nintendoeverything.com/billy-mitchell-donkey-kong-lawsuit-twin-galaxies/

"Billy Mitchell has long been known as one of the top Donkey Kong and Pac-Man players in the world. But his reputation took a hit in 2018 after he was accused of obtaining a high score in Nintendo’s arcade classic by playing with an emulator, which is “strictly forbidden”. His record was removed soon after, and he was banned from submitting scores to Twin Galaxies. Guinness World Records also decided to throw out his Donkey Kong scores and records for Pac-Man.

We’re now hearing that in April 2019, Mitchell filed suit against Twin Galaxies. Speaking with Ars Technica, he said the case was “officially served to Twin Galaxies” in February. A detailed complaint was then added in March.

Mitchell’s lawsuit is for defamation over the statement made by Twin Galaxies in April 2018. His lawyers say the statement is “libelous in its face” since it “asserts that Mitchell did not achieve his record scores legitimately.” The defense claims that the investigation was “pre-ordained” and “intent on generating publicity and internet ‘clicks’ by accusing Mitchell, the most visible of all video gamers, of cheating.” The suit also mentions Twin Galaxies did not contact “key witnesses” and fact-check information.

Mitchell believes his scores were valid since they were recorded on “certified arcade boards in front of hundreds of people”. Additionally, over 25 witnesses “signed sworn affidavits testifying to their observation of Mitchell” hitting those records.

According to Twin Galaxies CEO Jace Hall, the organization spent “thousands of dollars to adjudicate the claim.” Hall says the process was the “most professionally documented and thoroughly investigated video game score of all time,” given the “expense, transparency, and length of investigation.”

A judge will be hearing arguments from both sides on July 6. It is not yet known when a decision will be reached."

Don't know if anyone's been following this, but it's an interesting topic for me as a law student.  Based on my admittedly limited legal knowledge (1 semester of tort law) there's no chance in hell this lawsuit succeeds.  To argue defamation, you generally have to show that the defamer either knowingly lied, or acted with "a reckless disregard for truth" and neither of those seem to be the case met.

But what I love about this is imagining how this would play out if it actually got to trial.  Imagine a bunch of gamers trying to explain to a 60 year old judge the difference between MAME transitions and Arcade transitions XD.  If it actually goes that far, I'm 99% sure the court will say that since they have no way of telling whether the record was faked or not, there is no evidence for defamation. 

Last edited by JWeinCom - on 05 May 2020

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"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.



Chinese food for breakfast

 

COKTOE said:
"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. 



JWeinCom said:
COKTOE said:
"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. 

Ahhhh. Thanks for the breakdown. It would be unfortunate if, as you said, he played on an emulator and didn't cheat, but wadrugondo? He knew the rules and broke them.



Chinese food for breakfast

 

COKTOE said:
JWeinCom said:

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. 

Ahhhh. Thanks for the breakdown. It would be unfortunate if, as you said, he played on an emulator and didn't cheat, but wadrugondo? He knew the rules and broke them.

The thing is, as I understand the situation, is that he specifically submitted the score in the original hardware category.  There's nothing inherently wrong with playing it on MAME or some other form, because not everyone is going to have access to an original DK machine.  But you can't submit an emulator score in an arcade category.



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Yea I thought it was common knowledge that he used emulator. Now he is trying to act like he didn't. I thought there was video evidence like you said in last post that showed not playing on true arcade cabinet. Amazing that it took that long to catch but I guess the differences are very subtle and have to be looking for them.

In documentary on Netflix he is in garage playing on Donkey Arcade machine.  He could have been legit but he chose not to.  I hope lawsuit is thrown out.

Last edited by sethnintendo - on 05 May 2020

sethnintendo said:
Yea I thought it was common knowledge that he used emulator. Now he is trying to act like he didn't. I thought there was video evidence like you said in last post that showed not playing on true arcade cabinet. Amazing that it took that long to catch but I guess the differences are very subtle and have to be looking for them.

I was actually watching a video on it.  The thing is that one of the major figures at Twin galaxies who was in charge of verifying records was found to have cheated (he got a score on a game that was literally impossible even with perfect frame by frame TAS).  So that's when they started looking into these things a bit more closely.  It's literally a slight little gap that appears between some of the steel beams.  It would be nearly impossible to notice unless you were really examining the whole thing closely.



JWeinCom said:
sethnintendo said:
Yea I thought it was common knowledge that he used emulator. Now he is trying to act like he didn't. I thought there was video evidence like you said in last post that showed not playing on true arcade cabinet. Amazing that it took that long to catch but I guess the differences are very subtle and have to be looking for them.

I was actually watching a video on it.  The thing is that one of the major figures at Twin galaxies who was in charge of verifying records was found to have cheated (he got a score on a game that was literally impossible even with perfect frame by frame TAS).  So that's when they started looking into these things a bit more closely.  It's literally a slight little gap that appears between some of the steel beams.  It would be nearly impossible to notice unless you were really examining the whole thing closely.

Yea that's what I remember some weird glitch or whatever at the beams.  You have a video that you can put in op.  It would be nice if side by side comparison of it loading levels and circling differences.  I believe there is something like that on YouTube.



JWeinCom said:

Don't know if anyone's been following this, but it's an interesting topic for me as a law student.  Based on my admittedly limited legal knowledge (1 semester of tort law) there's no chance in hell this lawsuit succeeds.  To argue defamation, you generally have to show that the defamer either knowingly lied, or acted with "a reckless disregard for truth" and neither of those seem to be the case met.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that a nationwide standard only for public figures and that individual states might have lower thresholds for non-public figures?

Though, in this case, Mitchell's lawyers were kind enough to label him, "the most visible of all video gamers," so I suppose the standard applies either way.



Man, this guy never gives up. The ego on this one is somewhat impressive. But I really do hope that they throw out this case as it is pretty clear that he did not follow the rules of TG when he set the high score and he also lied about it...



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