Don­key Kong scan­dal

‘Video game player of the cen­tury’ has records re­moved by Guin­ness

Windsor Star - - YOU - KYLE SWEN­SON

Once dubbed the “video game player of the cen­tury” and shot to in­ter­na­tional no­to­ri­ety by a cult clas­sic doc­u­men­tary, Billy Mitchell’s rein in the ar­cade is now in ques­tion.

The man who once held world records in such clas­sic ar­cade games as Don­key Kong and Pac­Man has been stripped of his high scores af­ter a scan­dal that’s up­ended the world of old-school video gam­ing.

Last week, Twin Gal­ax­ies, the or­ga­ni­za­tion that ref­er­ees clas­sic ar­cade scores, an­nounced it had de­ter­mined some of Mitchell’s records were not at­tained on ac­tual ar­cade ma­chines but by us­ing the Mul­ti­ple Ar­cade Ma­chine Emu­la­tor (MAME) or soft­ware that repli­cates the games — a vi­o­la­tion of Twin Gal­ax­ies’s rules.

“The rules for sub­mit­ting scores for the orig­i­nal ar­cade Don­key Kong com­pet­i­tive leader­boards re­quires the use of orig­i­nal ar­cade hard­ware only,” the or­ga­ni­za­tion said.

“The use of MAME or any other em­u­la­tion soft­ware for sub­mis­sion to these leader­boards is strictly for­bid­den.”

Mitchell has promised to prove his scores are valid.

But last Fri­day, Guin­ness World Records acted in accordance with Twin Gal­ax­ies’s rul­ing by scrub­bing Mitchell’s records with the or­ga­ni­za­tion, the gam­ing site Ko­taku re­ports.

“The Guin­ness World Records ti­tles re­lat­ing to Mr. Mitchell’s high­est scores on Don­key Kong have all been dis­qual­i­fied due to Twin Gal­ax­ies be­ing our source of ver­i­fi­ca­tion for these achieve­ments,” a Guin­ness rep­re­sen­ta­tive told the web­site.

“We also rec­og­nize records for first per­fect score on Pac-Man and high­est score on Pac-Man. Twin Gal­ax­ies was the orig­i­nal source of ver­i­fi­ca­tion for these record ti­tles and in line with their de­ci­sion to re­move all of Mr. Mitchell’s records from their sys­tem, we have dis­qual­i­fied Mr. Mitchell as the holder of these two records.” In Fe­bru­ary, Twin Gal­ax­ies fielded a com­plaint by an­other gamer chal­leng­ing three of Mitchell’s scores and ques­tion­ing whether Mitchell ac­tu­ally earned the marks on an ar­cade ma­chine. An in­ves­ti­ga­tion was launched into the video footage taken of each of the high­scor­ing games.

“We now be­lieve that they are not from an orig­i­nal un­mod­i­fied” Don­key Kong ma­chine, Twin Gal­ax­ies said.

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