In a twist that's raising eyebrows in the gaming community, Billy Mitchell, a name synonymous with high scores and controversy, is back in the spotlight. Twin Galaxies, the renowned "International Scoreboard," has announced the reinstatement of Mitchell's scores following a legal settlement. But is this really the triumph Mitchell claims it to be?
First, let's get the facts straight: Twin Galaxies isn't declaring Mitchell a vindicated champion; they're merely adding his scores to a historical section on their website. Think of it as a digital museum, where Mitchell's scores are displayed alongside a list that includes known cheaters. Some might see it as a place of honor, but skeptics might argue it's more akin to a hall of infamy.
The decision comes after a confidential settlement in a defamation case, following Mitchell's removal from the scoreboard in 2018. This removal was a result of allegations of cheating, particularly using an emulator for his Donkey Kong scores — a big no-no in the world of competitive arcade gaming.
In defense of Mitchell, new expert testimony by Dr. Michael Zayda suggests his gameplay "could" represent play on original, albeit malfunctioning, Donkey Kong hardware. This statement, filled with uncertainty, contrasts starkly with the findings of the Donkey Kong Forum, which was instrumental in the 2018 decision due to signs of emulator use.
Mitchell's response to this development?
He's "relieved and satisfied," ready to leave behind a six-year ordeal. But let's not get carried away by his triumphal rhetoric. Being restored to a historical database is a far cry from a clear vindication. It's more like a begrudging acknowledgment under the shadow of legal pressure.
Twin Galaxies has scrubbed their forum of the dispute thread and related statements. While this might seem like a clean slate for Mitchell, the internet never forgets. These documents, including Twin Galaxies' original statement removing Mitchell's scores, are still accessible via the Internet Archive, serving as a digital reminder of the dispute's murky waters.
Mitchell's so-called victory is more of a complicated loss. It's less about proving his innocence and more about ending a longstanding feud. The gaming community, known for its keen eye for detail and skepticism, is unlikely to see this as a straightforward win. Instead, it's a testament to the complex, often contentious nature of competitive gaming, where the line between fame and infamy can be as thin as a pixel... and narcissists sleep in the bed they make.
Shout out to Karl Jobst for yet another incredible video covering this narcissistic fraud.