Billy Mitchell Loses Donkey Kong Titles

Billy Mitchell is a Champion no More

Billy Mitchell, who was made notable in the documentary King of Kong, was stripped of all of his high scores. Arcade-game high-score tracking organization Twin Galaxies also banned Mitchell from competing in further contests. This ban will likely prohibit Mitchell from continuing his career as a competitive gamer. 

How did Billy Mitchell Lose his Crown?

Billy Mitchell (center) flanked by two fans on December 19, 2007
Billy Mitchell (center) in Dec. 2007

This disciplinary action seems to have been in the works for a while. Before this controversy began, Billy Mitchell was noted as the first player to exceed one million points in Donkey Kong. Now, it is believed that Mitchell did not use an arcade machine to achieve his high score. However, both Twin Galaxies and Guinness World Records require the use of an arcade machine for records. Twin Galaxies said that 

“[Mitchell’s accuser’s] assertion concluded that not only can original “Donkey Kong” arcade hardware not produce the board transition images shown in the recordings, but that these transitions were actually generated through the use of MAME (emulation software.)

“The rules for submitting scores for the original arcade “Donkey Kong” competitive leaderboards requires the use of original arcade hardware only. The use of MAME or any other emulation software for submission to these leaderboards is strictly forbidden.”

Since Mitchell apparently used emulation software, he could have easily faked his high score.

Who’s King of Kong Now?

Steve Wiebe is now officially the first person to get over one million points in Donkey Kong without cheating. Wiebe was also featured in the King of Kong documentary. He said  “The more I thought about it from the ‘King of Kong’ days, it all seemed to make sense now. All the things that were happening at the time… like why he didn’t come out and play me, and why he was inciting whose records were going to be authenticated and whose were going to be dropped. ‘King of Kong’ referenced that he was a referee and on the board of directors. When that leaked out, it started to make more sense.”

Although Mitchell has been stripped of his scores by Twin Galaxies, Guinness World Records has not made a statement regarding his record.

What do you think about this controversy? Talk about it in the comments. And for more video gaming news, reviews, and features, click here.

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