Billy Mitchell, known for his prowess in Donkey Kong and his role in “King of Kong: A Fistfull of Quarters”, was stripped of his records today following an investigation into whether he had cheated or not. The investigation was headed up by officials from Twin Galaxies, a group that tracks and validates gaming scores and records. According to their researchers it was discovered that Mitchell had achieved multiple high scores through the use of emulation software instead of an official arcade machine, which is a requirement by Twin Galaxies for all records in the game.
A Twin Galaxies member filed a dispute claim back in February claiming that Billy Mitchell’s three high scores that topped one million points used emulation software based on the fact that certain recorded board transition images weren’t possible to replicate in the official arcade machines and were generated by MAME, the emulation software. While the Twin Galaxies statement does not say anything about whether the emulation software actually affected or somehow inflated Mitchell’s scores in the game, the fact that Mitchell went against the long standing rule against using anything other than an official Donkey Kong arcade machine has resulted in his high scores being removed from leaderboards.
In addition to removing Mitchell’s Donkey Kong scores, Twin Galaxies stated that “Administrative staff has unanimously decided to remove all of Billy Mitchell’s scores as well as ban him from participating in our competitive leaderboards.” Removing all his his scores would mean stripping Mitchell of his achievement of being the first person to get a perfect score on the original Pac-Man arcade along with other high scores and records.
While it isn’t surprising that they would remove the Donkey Kong records shown to be played on emulation software, the decision to remove any and all scores including those that were played on official software and to ban him from submitting scores in the future may seem to be going too far. Do you think this was a fair decision? How should cheating in video games be treated? Let us know what you think.