Billy Mitchell, a gamer who currently holds several world records on classic arcade games like Donkey Kong and Pac-Man, has been accused by a forensic analyst of cheating.
Accusations about Mitchell’s high scores have long plagued his records, with the Guinness World Records initially stripping Mitchell of his record-breaking titles in 2018, before later reversing its decision.
However Tanner Fokkens, a hardware engineer and a competitive Donkey Kong player, has now used technical analysis to examine two of Mitchell’s records where he scored 1,047,200 and 1,050,200 points in Donkey Kong. The report, according to Vice, has been co-signed by 5 other experts.
According to the report, Mitchell used Multiple Arcade Machine Emulators (MAME) to break the Donkey Kong records, rather than the original game. There’s nothing illegal about that, but those different platforms are recognised as separate games. “MAME scores which are passed off as coming from the original arcade are disqualified,” Fokkens wrote.
The evidence of this, Fokkens claims, is the transition screens. “It is impossible for unmodified arcade hardware to produce the transitions that are shown in Billy Mitchell’s taped footage,” Fokkens said. “Given all this evidence, and Billy’s continued insistence that he did not play on MAME, it is my opinion that he is not being truthful in his representation of his 1,047,200 and 1,050,200 gameplay tapes.”
Mitchell was first accused of cheating on Donkey Kong back in 2018, with Twin Galaxies, the official supplier of video game records to Guinness World Records, removing his Donkey Kong achievements from their database. Mitchell began legal proceedings against the company last year and now, has revealed that because of the allegations against him, his long-standing doctor has refused to see him (via Perfect Pac-Man).
The testimony, collected as part of the court case, reads: “After Twin Galaxies’ defamatory statements of April 12, 2018, one of Responding Party’s doctors, Dr. Stanley Skopit, refused to see Responding Party after Responding Party appeared for an annual examination. When Responding Party Arrived for his examination, the assistant to Dr. Skopit informed Mitchell that Dr. Skopit would not see him… the assistant informed Responding Party that Dr. Skopit read the allegations from Twin Galaxies.”
Mitchell also states that the stress of the case has caused him to suffer from a hernia and atrial fibrillation.
The case is ongoing.