Setting The Mood For Murder

Andy Chalk

One Flag, One Fleet, One Cat
Nov 12, 2002
Setting The Mood For Murder

If you're tired of getting your ass kicked in Team Fortress 2 [], try fiddling with your monitor; Swedish researchers have found that the color of game environments has a measurable impact on a player's performance.

In a study published last year, researchers Igor Knez of the Malmö University [] compared the impact of warm (reddish) and cool (bluish) lighting in game worlds on the "affect and play performance of gamers." The results? As has apparently been shown in earlier research, playing in a warmly-lit virtual environment yields a noticeably higher rate of ass-kickings-per-minute.

"It was shown that the players performed best and fastest in a game world lit with a warm (reddish) as compared to a cool (bluish) lighting," the research abstract [] says. "The former color of lighting also induced the highest level of pleasantness in game users. A regression analysis indicated tentatively that it was the level of pleasantness induced by the warm lighting that enhanced the players' better performance in that digital game world."

Further, it appears that the improvement actually increases with the skill of the player; "high-skilled" players, who typically engage in 2.5 times more gaming per week than medium- and low-skilled gamers, get a larger boost from appropriate environmental lighting. "Given their skill, they performed significantly faster and felt significantly calmer and more relaxed in doing so," the abstract says.

The results appear to dovetail nicely with research reported last year that found the Red Team was statistically better [] than the Blue Team. It would seem that whether it's wardrobe or mood lighting, red just makes players better. Now if we could only do something about all those god-awful browns that seem so popular these days.

Source: Guardian Games Blog []



New member
Feb 28, 2008
(Insert Darth Vader's "No" here.)

I hate the horrible, yellow lights...
Ah, well. I don't play competitively very often, so I'm alright.


Level 80 Legendary Postlord
Dec 4, 2007
I wonder how many hardcore gamers will adjust their monitors RGB levels after reading this.


New member
Sep 30, 2008
Maybe I'll just set up reddish and orange lights around my TV and computer screens, hoping that the ambient light will do the trick. I'll turn pro in no time, I'm sure...


New member
Feb 2, 2009
I just stuck a piece of red foil around my TV and now Im going 60-0 up on COD4.
Not really.

But Im glad that people do research stuff like this, its just as important as any.