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Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Was Billy Mitchell Vindicated? Guinness Records Turnabout!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Most everyone else disagrees.

Back in early 2018, KoopaTV reported that Arcade-era record-obtaining legend and hot sauce mogul Billy Mitchell was accused by members of the Donkey Kong Arcade forum of lying and cheating with his records and using a MAME emulator as opposed to an authentic Arcade machine of Donkey Kong. Shortly after that was published, all of Billy Mitchell's records were stripped from the Guinness World Records and gaming leaderboard organisation Twin Galaxies. (Even the ones not directly related to the instance in question, due to him being banned entirely.)

Billy Mitchell failed to provide public counter-evidence in the allotted time span, but instead threatened defamation lawsuits. (Billy Mitchell being seen as a cheater would harm his personal brand and hot sauce business.) Last week, all of a sudden, Guinness reversed their decision and reinstated Billy Mitchell's PAC-MAN and Donkey Kong scores.

According to Craig Glenday, Guinness World Records Editor in Chief, in a video statement,
“Billy Mitchell has made various appearances in the Guinness World Records books since the 1980s, but in 2018, some questions were raised about the technical aspects of his gameplay, and we therefore took the decision to disqualify his records. Mitchell then appealed that decision, and we subsequently reopened his case and re-examined the evidence. This involved reviewing both the existing evidence, and newly-sourced eyewitness testimony, plus some new expert gameplay analyses and hardware verification. In the end, we found that there just wasn't sufficient evidence to support the disqualification across the board. In cases such as this where there is debate, we would typically defer to the original contemporaneous adjudication, and this is the case here. So the result is that the records management team has decided to reverse the decisions made, and reinstate all of Mr. Mitchell's records for PAC-MAN and Donkey Kong.”

Twin Galaxies, however, maintains their ban, and Billy Mitchell is going to take them to court soon (there is a hearing on July 6 at 9 AM, apparently). Many forum posters on the Donkey Kong forum and Twin Galaxies board believe that Guinness World Records is corrupt or paid off somehow, and at no point was this new evidence/analyses/testimony actually presented to the public, which makes things seem very suspicious.

There's two tangential points I want to discuss that don't involve my personal admiration of Billy Mitchell's character and charisma, relating to eSports and my personal experience with Guinness World Records:

To Billy Mitchell, eSports first began in 1982 in the arcade era, with players competing to have the highest scores possible in single-player games. By manipulating the AI and its patterns, they could get through the games and survive far longer than normal players’ coin-driven sets of lives. These high-level gamers were seen as heroes and highly skilled.

Billy Mitchell records reinstated Guinness World Records statement PAC-MAN Donkey Kong arcade
I'm wondering how Billy Mitchell managed to get significantly more time on the Guinness video than the Guinness guy did.
(Probably goes into the whole “Billy Mitchell paid them off” conspiracy.)

Yeah, it's a far cry from what we consider now to be eSports (competitive multiplayer gaming). I find the difference in perspectives to be quite interesting. Billy Mitchell isn't really into that modern gaming stuff, and I don't fault him at all for it! He knows what he likes and what he's good at. He's already world-famous at doing the old stuff really well.

I just wonder if that means one should also consider speed-running to be eSports. I guess the comparison in the sports world with single-player score-getting sports would be gymnastics.

My second topic is the Guinness organisation. I absolutely despise them. They are pay-to-win. I once thought it would be novel for a Koopaling to get into the Guinness World Records book. I won't tell you with what record, but it did happen, and what I did was record-achieving and record-breaking and it still stands to this day. (Yet not recognised by Guinness.) But if you're not a celebrity and/or they won't be able to get a good news story/publicity out of it, they are totally pay-to-play. They wanted me to pay them several thousands of Great British Pounds for one of their adjudicators to fly/warp in and verify stuff. Screw that. Normal people can't afford that.

But Billy Mitchell can...

Ludwig won't go into anymore detail about his own record-breaking exploits, but it was several years ago and pre-dated KoopaTV's existence. He is absolutely in love with Billy Mitchell's personality, with Billy Mitchell being one of the few humans that Ludwig admires in such a way. That said, Ludwig is making no opinionated comment about whether or not Billy Mitchell actually cheated, though it'll be very interesting to see what occurs in court.

UPDATE in the legal proceedings! It's going to a trial, and the court struck down Twin Galaxies attempt to slap the lawsuit away.

1 comment :

  1. Update: Court date moved to October 15, because the court wanted to take their time to study the evidence.


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