1942 Data Error

A message displayed on an old arcade machine and I don't know why.

We stayed in a house at the beach this past week as part of the family's yearly vacation. This year's house had both a theater and arcade room, and I'm here to talk about an error message I saw displayed on one of its arcade machines.

1942 Data Error

An arcade machine showing the text "1942 Data Error"

That's all it said. I did the first thing anyone in my position would have done: took to DuckDuckGo for the answer. You know what I found? Nothing. References to Battlefield: 1942 - a completely separate game, sure - but not what "1942 Data Error" means for this particular machine.

Then it dawned on me how niche of a situation I found myself in: A vintage arcade machine encountering an error that the internet has not seemed to document and that only other renters of this house will stumble upon, who will presumably reach the same conclusion I have.

Someone out there knows what it means, and that person has probably spent years studying arcade machines and could tell me everything I need to know - including how to fix it - as if I asked them what color the sky is.

If you're that person, or you know that person, I'm waiting for your email.

P.S. Here's another machine's friendly "WINNERS DON'T USE DRUGS" message from the FBI.

An arcade machine showing the text "WINNERS DON'T USE DRUGS" - William S. Sessions, Director, FBI


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