Culture Billy Mitchell accused of faking his record D.K score - Justice for Steve Weibe

Jaded Optimist

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https://www.pcgamesn.com/king-of-kong-billy-mitchell-cheating-world-records-donkey-kong

Billy Mitchell, the professional gamer and hot sauce kingpin featured in the hit 2007 documentary King of Kong, may be stripped of several of his arcade world record scores after a fan site discovered what they consider to be likely evidence that he used an emulator to achieve his high scores.




As reported in VentureBeat, a high score judge at Donkey Kong Forum discovered what he calls “likely” evidence that Mitchell used MAME, a popular arcade cabinet emulator, in videos he submitted for his 20th-place Donkey Kong score of 1.062 million points.

VentureBeat goes into detail on how their judge, Jeremy “Xelnia” Young, spotted the difference, and it has to do with how MAME renders full scenes at once, while the original arcade hardware had to draw in scenes piece by piece.

While MAME scores are sometimes accepted by judges for record-setting purposes, they have to be confirmed by either live video or an impartial witness. Otherwise, MAME’s recording function allows users to rewind over mistakes and erase them. Mitchell’s only witness for his three world record scores was Todd Rogers, who was stripped of his titles this week after his record high score of 5.51 seconds in the classic Atari game Dragster was found to be technically impossible.

This would drop Mitchell to 47th place in the world in Donkey Kong, down from 20th. His score was just below his rival Steve Weibe, who was also featured in King of Kong and holds the 19th highest Donkey Kong score of 1.064 million points.
 

Desire Lines

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Why did he cheat to get a 20th place? People usually cheat to get higher places than that. Was he afraid he'd seem too suspicious?
Also, gee. Imagine waking up, looking in the mirror and thinking "My only accomplishment in life is a high-score for an interactive toy that I cheated to get". I'd probably kill myself.
 

AnOminous

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Why did he cheat to get a 20th place? People usually cheat to get higher places than that. Was he afraid he'd seem too suspicious?
Also, gee. Imagine waking up, looking in the mirror and thinking "My only accomplishment in life is a high-score for an interactive toy that I cheated to get". I'd probably kill myself.
I don't think they outright said he cheated, just that he submitted it in a format where he could have cheated, and the only person vouching for it is himself a proven cheater. So at the very least, he made a bogus submission, but may have not actually cheated as such.
 

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Why did he cheat to get a 20th place? People usually cheat to get higher places than that. Was he afraid he'd seem too suspicious?
Also, gee. Imagine waking up, looking in the mirror and thinking "My only accomplishment in life is a high-score for an interactive toy that I cheated to get". I'd probably kill myself.
It's like Al Bundy and his four touchdowns in a single game. Donkey Kong is Billy Mitchell's claim to fame. The highlight of his life. Now he just shills sauce like Al Bundy sells shoes.
 

Super Collie

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When Speedrunning was first getting started they didn't have any concrete rules for verification of times, that and nepotism.
Arcade high score records predated the concept of speedrunning by a couple of decades. Speedrunning did not really start to become a "thing" until around 2003, though people had been competing for record times in levels in games like Doom and Quake for a few years prior. When speedrunning started to develop a fledgling community online most people adopted the Twin Galaxies ruleset which required things like "no emulators" and "no glitches". It was an imperfect system at the time because as we've recently discovered, many of Twin Galaxies' officials and referees are not trustworthy people.

Why did he cheat to get a 20th place? People usually cheat to get higher places than that. Was he afraid he'd seem too suspicious?
Also, gee. Imagine waking up, looking in the mirror and thinking "My only accomplishment in life is a high-score for an interactive toy that I cheated to get". I'd probably kill myself.
I don't think they outright said he cheated, just that he submitted it in a format where he could have cheated, and the only person vouching for it is himself a proven cheater. So at the very least, he made a bogus submission, but may have not actually cheated as such.
@AnOminous is correct, the contention is over the fact that Billy Mitchell did not disclose the type/version of the game that he was obtaining high scores on. While most people might think "Donkey Kong is Donkey Kong", this is not how Twin Galaxies sees it. Steve Wiebe has been mentioned a couple of times in this thread; Steve was a prospective Donkey Kong record holder who was consistently shot down by Twin Galaxies officials because at the time of his records being "achieved", Billy Mitchell had had the Donkey Kong world record for something like twenty years, and because this is Billy Mitchell we're talking about he had a vested interest in keeping his title.

So Steve Wiebe's records fell under all sorts of additional bullshit scrutiny. It turns out Steve Wiebe's original world record was achieved on an arcade board known as "Double Donkey Kong" (a cabinet that contained both DK and DK Jr.). Twin Galaxies rejected Steve's record and instead gave him the world record for Double Donkey Kong and Billy Mitchell kept his original 1982 record score. Steve Wiebe obtained an original Donkey Kong arcade board and tried again. He got a world record for a second time, but this time Twin Galaxies put him through the ringer and they basically tore apart his arcade cabinet to try and track down where he obtained the board from. Steve received the board from an ex-Twin Galaxies member and because of this Twin Galaxies rejected Steve's second record on the grounds of him receiving the game from an "untrusted source" who could have potentially done "something" to the board in order to give Steve and unfair advantage over Billy Mitchell.

It's absolutely exceptional. Billy of course received priority treatment because of who he was, and Twin Galaxies was willing to do all sorts of dumb shit to try and make sure nobody beat his records. The eventually had to let nature take its course though when Steve and a few other people started turning in legitimate high scores on approved hardware. Also, since Billy was using MAME to record scores on this would have put him into a different category instead of the traditional "on real hardware" category (which is arguably the one that really matters).

Notice how it took an external third party to disprove Billy's record. This is something that Twin Galaxies should have checked for and they either A) failed to notice it or B) intentionally looked the other way because it was Billy Mitchell.
 

AnOminous

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Also, since Billy was using MAME to record scores on this would have put him into a different category instead of the traditional "on real hardware" category (which is arguably the one that really matters).
Using MAME is really questionable without corroboration, though, because you could do anything from slow down the virtual CPU and with it the gameplay to outright rewinding and erasing mistakes. So it makes sense to dump this result unless it was performed under some kind of scrutiny.
 

Super Collie

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Using MAME is really questionable without corroboration, though, because you could do anything from slow down the virtual CPU and with it the gameplay to outright rewinding and erasing mistakes. So it makes sense to dump this result unless it was performed under some kind of scrutiny.
While true, I believe Twin Galaxies requires full video proof of any new records (or for someone like Walter Day see you do the record IRL and personally vouch for it), so even though Billy could theoretically slow the game down and use the emulator's other tools to his advantage these are all things that would appear on tape and be extremely obvious. To a layman, someone playing Donkey Kong on real hardware and on an emulator look identical and Billy seemed to either be banking on this or was simply unaware of it and was using MAME out of convenience. He was found out because MAME loads sprite and visual data at an almost unnoticeably different rate, we're talking literal frames here. Someone did a frame-by-frame of Billy's record tape and noticed that his version of the game did not display visual data at the same rate and order as an original cabinet would.
 
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