The king, of Kong, has fallen.
Earlier this week, Guinness World Records and video game record keeper Twin Galaxies, made news when they removed high scores of well-known gamer Billy Mitchell from their listings and have banned him from future postings.
The decisions came following investigations by Twin Galaxies that determined Mitchell used outside software, and not the original arcade hardware, to record some of his record high scores, including one for Donkey Kong. Outside software and emulation can be used to cheat, and also brings in different conditions that are not present in the original hardware.
To those outside the competitive gaming scene, Mitchell may be best known from his appearance in the 2007 documentary “The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters.” The documentary highlighted Mitchell’s rivalry with Steve Wiebe, who now holds the distinction of being the first person to break the 1 million-point mark on the game, following the removal of Mitchell’s scores.
As an avid gamer myself, I have heard many stories of Mitchell and the rock star-like image he built for himself over the years. While I don’t consider myself the biggest fan of Mitchell, I can see how everything down to his long hair and American flag ties led to the image and fandom he cultivated.
This came in contrast with Wiebe, a school teacher, who throughout the documentary seemed more interested in perfecting his game rather than building a personality for himself. The whole thing led to something of an underdog and champion vibe that added to the appeal of the story.
While I’ve enjoyed the back and forth that Wiebe and Mitchell have had over the years, it feels like some of the drama has disappeared from it, knowing that cheating may have been involved.
Happy birthday Jerry Dan Miller and Kassie Edmonson, both of Sherman; Ray Bangs of Savoy; and Donna Webb Shaw of Taylor.
Happy anniversary to Doyle and Earlene Price of Savoy, 57 years; Gerald and Linda Callahan of McKinney, 45 years; Roger and Lisa McBride of Pottsboro, 43 years; Dennis and Debbie Judkins of Dorchester, 40 years; Jack and Leslie Hill of Savoy, 11 years.