- Sega’s operates a string of video game arcades in Japan
- UFO catchers or crane games are a popular attraction
- The prizes for these games are put in a bag that has an amusing message
Nowadays Sega is known for its stranglehold on PC strategy games and Sonic the Hedgehog. In Japan however, the company operates a string of video game arcades. To attract passersby to enter it has crane games. Also known as UFO Catchers, you operate a crane in order to win prizes. The moment you do, the staff would give you a bag to carry it home in.
The bag has the Sega logo along with circles and squares below it. They don’t follow a set pattern. Although they’ve been in circulation for the better part of two years, Japanese Twitter user raika0510 figured out it was actually Morse code. After replacing the squares with dashes that are used in Morse code it reveals that the “UFO Catcher is not a vending machine.”
This was then confirmed by Sega’s official Twitter account which tweeted the following message whichtranslates to:
“Unlike a vending machine, where you know exactly what’s going to happen, with a UFO catcher there’s the suspense of not knowing whether or not you’re going to be able to win the prize, and the designer wanted people to enjoy that special kind of excitement.”
In the past, Sega was known for its edgy, brash image particularly during the 16-bit era with the Sega Mega Drive or Genesis as it was called in the US. After the dissolution of its console hardware division following the commercial failure of the Dreamcast, it’s heartening to see that it hasn’t lost all of its verve although it isn’t quite out in the open as it used to be.