Light Affects Mood and Performance during Computer Gaming

Game players perform best and fastest in a computer game world lit with a warm (reddish) as compared to a cool (bluish) lighting. Red lightning in a Computer Game also induced the highest level of pleasantness in game users.
It was probably the level of pleasantness induced by the warm lighting that enhanced the players’ better performance in that digital game world.

These were the results of a recent article in CyberPsychology & Behavior: Lighting in Digital Game Worlds: Effects on Affect and Play Performance

These results are important for game designers and developers of online communities and visual worlds. Nevertheless maybe in the future also for indoor lighting and even depression considering the effects on mood. Wouldn’t it be nice when suffering from depression and being treated with computer games three times a day?

In experimental psychology there is some evidence that indoor lighting can have an effect on mood. The influence of indoor lighting on psychological mechanisms is complex.This study was designed to investigate the impact of warm (reddish) and cool (bluish) simulated illumination in digital game worlds on game users’ affect and play performance.

More and more people are investing in quality computer speakers on a budget and spending more on lighting because of this study. Companies have also applied the findings on syncing peripheral lights with the game dynamics.

38 people participated in this study (14 women and 24 men), mostly students with a mean age of 22 years. They were payed to participate 15 dollars.

The players navigated through 3 different lighted sequences of Half Life 2.The three different lighting conditions were neutral (grayish), cool (bluish), and warm (reddish). Affect ratings and game performance were outcome measures.

What we do claim is that we have made a first step toward better understanding the contribution of a specific aesthetic quality of game worlds to the patterns of feeling and response that make up the game experience
Knez, I., Niedenthal, S. (2008). Lighting in Digital Game Worlds: Effects on Affect and Play Performance. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 11(2), 129-137. DOI: 10.1089/cpb.2007.0006