Former Donkey Kong champion sues scorekeeping website for removing his records

Billy Mitchell, the onetime Donkey Kong champion removed from the record book after evidence emerged that he used emulators to rack up his scores, is suing the website that bounced his name from its charts. He threatened to do so in September last year, but it turns out he had already filed without publicity. The lawsuit was filed under Williams' full name and with a spelling error that made it unlikely to turn up in searches.

Mitchell and his lawyers said in a statement they would be forced to "resort to legal recourse" if Twin Galaxies didn't rescind its decision and reinstate Mitchell's scores. But court filings obtained by Ars Technica show that Mitchell had already filed suit against Twin Galaxies in a Los Angeles County court as early as April 2019.

Mitchell's defamation lawsuit—misfiled as "William James Mitchell vs. Twin Galexies, LLC [sic]" and not reported in previous press accounts—has been slowly building to a planned July anti-SLAPP hearing, where Twin Galaxies will make use of a statute that lets defendants quickly strike down lawsuits that threaten "public participation." Twin Galaxies says in court filings that its statements regarding Mitchell's scores were not defamatory and that finding in Mitchell's favor "would have chilling effects on the freedom of speech."

There are subtle discrepancies between how emulators and original hardware refresh Donkey Kong screens. Mitchell was denounced after they were observed in a high-scoring video he posted.