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Billy Mitchell Took His Donkey Kong Gripes to Court

Gamer filed suit against scorekeeping body Twin Galaxies
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted May 5, 2020 1:54 PM CDT

(Newser) – In April 2018, Billy Mitchell lost his place as top scorer in Donkey Kong after the group that sanctions such records determined he didn't achieve his score properly. Mitchell had vowed to fight back, and Ars Technica reports he did indeed follow through. It turns out Mitchell (famous thanks to the King of Kong documentary) filed a defamation suit last April against scorekeeping group Twin Galaxies, which was served in February. A hearing is slated for July 6. Engadget sees merit on both sides of the case. Twin Galaxies studied the videotape of Mitchell's 2010 record-breaking Donkey Kong game—he scored 1,062,800 points, per Popular Mechanics—and concluded that it was not played on an original console, as required and as he claimed.

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Twin Galaxies didn't outright accuse Mitchell of cheating in its published statement on its decision, which also barred Mitchell from submitting any scores in the future. But Mitchell alleges that statement was "libelous on its face" because it implied the scores weren't attained in a legitimate manner, therefore implying he was a cheater, and "any reasonable reader would understand Twin Galaxies has called Mitchell a cheater who deserved punishment." Twin Galaxies reps haven't commented, but Ars Technica points to a motion it filed March 30 in which lawyers argue the statement wasn't legally defamatory as it was "nothing more than the opinion of Twin Galaxies" and, indeed, began with the words, "We now believe." (Read more Donkey Kong stories.)

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