Billy Mitchell Lets His Site Lapse, With A Critic Of His High Score Claims Swooping In To Take It Over

from the whoops dept

It’s been a minute since we last discussed Billy Mitchell, the man with the self-propelled reputation as an immense gamer with many high scores on record. He has also demonstrated a willingness to be quite litigious towards anyone who disagrees with this assessment of his gaming prowess. A couple of years back, he threatened to sue the Guinness Book of World Records for — checks notes — , huh, defamation. This defamation appeared to amount to the GBoWR rescinding his “record” for a high and perfect Pacman score, noting that there were evidenced claims that Mitchell had not earned the videotaped score on an official arcade cabinet, but rather using an emulator. These records were later reinstated, with GBoWR indicating it didn’t have enough evidence to refuse the record. Mitchell also sued Twin Galaxies, an organization that acts as something of an arbiter for gaming records like this. That case failed to get dismissed on anti-SLAPP grounds and appears to still be active.

As does the website Mitchell setup to proclaim his own glory, it seems, though it appears that Mitchell let his registration for the site lapse and now it is under decidedly new ownership.

If nothing else, you’ve gotta respect the bit. Billy Mitchell, the so-called “video game player of the century,” appears to have let ownership over his old website, perfectpacman.com, lapse some years ago. Now someone else has commandeered the domain, and is using it to publish a multipart investigation into the oft-questioned legitimacy of Mitchell’s world-record Pac-Man scores.

“Welcome to our new blog, www.perfectpacman.com. This blog will be dedicated to gaming related topics of interest to us. If you like what you see, just give us a whistle! Disclaimer: The new site administration has no affiliation with any liars and/or cheaters and/or narcissistic frauds who may have owned this web domain in the past. But we appreciate the free advertising lol.”

The author of the posts has kept their identity hidden, but each subsequent post is part of a currently six-part series that is entirely dedicated to the claim that Mitchell’s Pac-Man record is illegitimate. Many of those posts are also mirrored in a way on the Twin Galaxies website, which is sure to cause a great deal of ruckus within the ongoing litigation, though those Twin Galaxy posts appear to be user-generated, rather than official posts on the site. The posts on either site are incredibly detailed.

Since it’s still a work in progress and covers a very contentious subject, the veracity of many aspects is up for debate. But while it’s hard to miss that Walter C. has an axe to grind with the famous Pac-Man / Donkey Kong player, it’s not like controversy surrounding some of Mitchell’s claimed achievements hasn’t been piling up over the last decade, either. If you’ve time to kill, you can read the series here—parts one, two, three, four, five, and six are currently up—and judge for yourself. Fair warning: Each section is looong.

Now, none of this is to say that these posts by whoever took over Mitchell’s own site prove that Mitchell did anything untoward. But it sure does make one wonder why someone so obsessed with the world believing his claims about video game records couldn’t also ensure that his website making those claims was maintained in his name.

And, frankly, if this lawsuit can ever make it to the point where discovery is fully conducted and the public gets to see evidence presented on both sides… well, grab a bucket of popcorn.

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Comments on “Billy Mitchell Lets His Site Lapse, With A Critic Of His High Score Claims Swooping In To Take It Over”

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24 Comments
Thadsays:

This defamation appeared to amount to the GBoWR rescinding his "record" for a high and perfect Pacman score, noting that there were evidenced claims that Mitchell had not earned the videotaped score on an official arcade cabinet, but rather using an emulator.

No, that’s incorrect. His perfect Pac-Man game wasn’t the one where they found evidence he’d used MAME and save-scummed; that was his million-point Donkey Kong game. Twin Galaxies subsequently rescinded all his records, including the perfect Pac-Man game. Guinness, which had used TG as its source, briefly rescinded the Pac-Man record as well, but as you say, later reinstated it.

That One Guysays:

Well that’s awkward, for someone so obsessed about boasting about how great he is losing the site to someone dedicated to showing why there might not be that much to brag about has got to really sting.

Between the singular achievement based upon questionable claims and tendency to go legal against anyone who dares question it I am getting a wicked case of deja vu, how pathetic must a life like that be when someone looking into the validity of your claims is an existential crisis since that’s all you have.

PaulTsays:

Re:

Which, really makes it even stranger that he allowed this particular domain to lapse. He surely understands how many enemies and/or detractors he’s made over the years – was was an obnoxious, unlikeable, hateable public figure well the cheating was discovered – so it should have been obvious what might happen should he not pay the tiny amount of money required to retain domain ownership. Surely retaining the Pac Man related domain to help rebut any complaints against that particular record would have been the intelligent move.

PaulTsays:

Re: Re: Re:

"Eh, it’s something that could happen to anybody"

Yes and no. Larger organisations tend to let things go because they don’t have a proper procedure in place before they have problems (such as staff registering domains with individual emails accounts then not being altered after they leave), or other admin issues. Individuals would notice the constant spam telling you that your domain is about to expire, or at least that’s my experience with my domains.

"And Billy doesn’t strike me as a guy who really has it together."

Well, this is true. But, he also seems to be an obsessive self-promotion kind of guy, which is why it strikes me as weird that he allowed a cheap method of self promotion to be hijacked.

James Burkhardtsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: happen to anybody?

Lots of these things are on auto renew and only renew once every few years. The result is information changes, new people are responsible, and all the information on the renewal slips through the cracks. With billy mitchell, all he needed was his card number to change, or get a new renewal date and the auto renew doesn’t go through, and that email could easily get missed.

Or hes burning through his money on these legal challenges and can’t afford it.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: happen to anybody?

Generally the registrars will send at least 2 warning emails about pending expiry, and then auto-renew the domain for 45 days (which is free to them if the domain is then deleted). And then it’s another 5 days before anyone else can register it. A domain only costs $8/year wholesale, so I’m kind of surprised nobody’s tried selling "forever" domains for like $1000. It would still be negligible for popular domains like HoTMaiL. Wouldn’t have helped Mitchell, though he could’ve registered for a decade cheaply enough.

PaulTsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: happen to anybody?

"The result is information changes, new people are responsible"

Yeah, every domain expiry I’ve seen in larger organisations I’ve worked with are due to people registering under an individual account or email domains changing, and nobody thinking to update the whois.

"Or hes burning through his money on these legal challenges and can’t afford it."

Which is such a tiny amount of money you have to almost feel sorry for the guy. Almost.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

But, he also seems to be an obsessive self-promotion kind of guy, which is why it strikes me as weird that he allowed a cheap method of self promotion to be hijacked.

Celebrities, I’ve noticed, usually hand off droll tasks like maintenance to subordinates. It’s far likelier that Mitchell paid off an agency or developer to run the site for him on the backend, and between promoting his own hot sauce business he left the site to the agency/developer’s own devices, and said third party cares as much for Billy Mitchell as Billy Mitchell cares for the little people.

When people have their head up their own ass the way Mitchell does, they tend not to care about what goes into supporting the infrastructure they use to trumpet their own self-importance. Who knows, maybe the folks who actually run Mitchell’s web presence let the whole thing lapse out of sheer spite.

Thadsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Individuals would notice the constant spam telling you that your domain is about to expire, or at least that’s my experience with my domains.

Yeah, but only on the e-mail addresses that are tied to the registration. It’s not difficult to conceive of a situation where someone would ask a more tech-savvy friend or representative to set up a domain for them, or switch e-mail addresses later and forget to switch the registration over, or what-have-you.

I’ve worked on websites for a lot of small business owners. Just because they’re good at self-promotion doesn’t mean they’re on top of basic things like keeping their registration updated.

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