Former Donkey Kong Record Holder Billy Mitchell Has Permission To Sue Twin Galaxies

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Billy Mitchell, the professional gamer and hot sauce purveyor who rose to fame for setting several retro video game high scores, is preparing for a return to court. As reported by Axios, the US appeals court gave Mitchell permission to proceed with his defamation suit against Twin Galaxies, the online video game leaderboard website.

In case you missed the legal tussle, the whole saga began when Twin Galaxies and Guinness World Records stripped Mitchell of his several of world records for Pac-Man and Donkey Kong after he was accused of using emulation devices to earn his scores instead of authentic arcade machines, as was required for these world record attempts. While Guinness would later reverse its decision, Twin Galaxies has so far refused to reinstate Mitchell’s records.

Billy Mitchell
Billy Mitchell

Mitchell would file a defamation suit against Twin Galaxies in 2019, while the site itself fought back with an “anti-strategic lawsuit against public participation”–more commonly known as a SLAPP motion–response, a legal move designed to have frivolous lawsuits dismissed from court and prevent parties from being silenced, as spotted by Kotaku. This week’s ruling by the State of California’s Second court has stated that Mitchell and his legal team have enough material to continue the lawsuit.

Whether Mitchell and his team actually stand a chance of winning the case is another matter entirely, although this wouldn’t be the first time that he has gone to court to protect his image.

In 2015, Mitchell sued Cartoon Network for infringing on his likeness with the character of Garrett Bobby Ferguson, a gigantic bearded head organism that cheats at video games in an effort to maintain the universal high score record. Mitchell lost that case after it was ruled that GBF’s appearance was “transformative” and not a literal representation of him, given that the character was a floating head without a body.

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