Famed games player Billy Mitchell has lost his legal battle against his depiction in the Cartoon Network's The Regular Show.
The character - known as GBF (Garrett Bobby Ferguson or Giant Bearded Face) - is a floating head with arms who is revealed to be an alien who cheats at video games. The character was introduced following Mitchell's rise to mainstream fame after his appearance in the documentary King of Kong, where he is shown battling fellow high-score chaser Steve Wiebe for the world record on Donkey Kong. In the film, Mitchell is portrayed in a rather negative light, hence the parody on The Regular Show.
Mitchell - who also owns a chain of restaurants and produces his own cooking sauce under the family brand Rickey's World Famous Sauces - launched a lawsuit against Cartoon Network for damages, but his objections have been thrown out by New Jersey Federal District Judge Anne Thompson, who stated:
The television character does not match the plaintiff in appearance. GBF appears as a non-human creature, a giant floating head with no body from outer space, while Plaintiff is a human being. And when GBF loses his title, the character literally explodes, unlike Plaintiff.
Mitchell's career in video games began back in "golden age" of the arcade industry, and he has held world high scores on Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, BurgerTime, Donkey Kong Jr. and Centipede. He was proclaimed the "Video Game Player of the Century" at the 1999 Tokyo Game Show, and was given an award by Namco founder Masaya Nakamura in recognition of achieving the first "perfect game" on Pac-Man that same year.
GBF isn't the first parody of Mitchell we've seen - in the recent Hollywood movie Pixels, Peter Dinklage's character Eddie sports the same facial hair and mullet as the video game veteran and hot sauce salesman.