Legendary Donkey Kong Player Billy Mitchell Has Guinness World Records Reinstated [Update]
According to a recent report, the disgraced Donkey Kong arcade champion first filed the suit in April 2019.
[Update: Billy Mitchell has had his world records for both Donkey Kong and Pac-Man reentered into the Guinness Book of World Records after an evidence review. Twin Galaxies appears to disagree with the ruling, despite founder Walter Day supporting it.]
Back in 2018, the video game records and adjudication organization Twin Galaxies made headlines when it stripped prominent arcade competitor Billy Mitchell of his scores after a lengthy investigation concluded that he achieved his Donkey Kong record on non-original hardware. Now, according to a report from Ars Technica, Mitchell has sued Twin Galaxies for defamation, claiming that the decision gave him the implicit label of "cheater," which he believes to constitute libel.
The report notes that Mitchell first filed the suit in California in April 2019 to fit inside the statute of limitations for defamation cases. Among many other claims, Mitchell and his legal team condemn Twin Galaxies' reliance on "scientific evidence" rather than eyewitnesses who support Mitchell's contention that the records are the result of legitimate play, including original Twin Galaxies founder Walter Day. (Day left the organization in 2010; current owner Jace Hall purchased it from a third party in 2014.)
In a public declaration filed with the court, Hall called Mitchell's former Donkey Kong record "the most professionally documented and thoroughly investigated video game score of all time." The next action in the case will take place July 6, when both sides will argue over a motion filed by Twin Galaxies. Interest in the ongoing competition to claim the top score in the arcade version of Donkey Kong was first ignited by the highly-regarded 2007 documentary film The King of Kong. The current holder is John McCurdy, with a score of 1,259,000 points.
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