The debate has been going on for years: should you play video games with the lights off or not?
Some gamers argue that playing in the dark enhances their experience, while others say it is more immersive to game with light.
We will explore both of these arguments and see which one could be better for your gaming needs!
Gaming With Lights On Or Off?
Playing in the dark has many benefits, one of which can help you get into a more relaxed state. When playing with lights on, there tend to be distractions such as noise and bright screen lighting.
Playing in the dark also makes your game look better because if you have ambient light coming from other sources like lamps or windows, the screen may not look as crisp.
Another benefit is that playing in the dark can help you sleep better at night because it stimulates your brain into relaxing and going to bed – a win-win situation!
On the other hand, if you are someone who likes brightness when gaming, then maybe turning off lights might be more for you.
Playing in the dark can be distracting, and some people don’t like it.
Another factor is that if you have ambient light coming from sources other than your screen, then you may not get a crisp look at your game, which could make it difficult to see what’s going on in certain areas of the level or map.
It also makes seeing mistakes harder when playing.
Ultimately, it is up to you to decide what works best for your gaming needs.
If playing in the dark helps you relax and sleep better at night, then go ahead! But if ambient light from sources other than just the screen distracts or makes things difficult when playing, then maybe turn on some lights.
What Pro Gamers Prefer: Lights On Or Off?
Pro gamers actually prefer playing with lights off so that they can focus more on the game.
They do not want to be distracted from what’s happening on-screen by any other factors, like lighting and so forth.
It is also because of this reason that most pro gamers prefer using a monitor instead of an LCD TV for gaming purposes.
A Pro gamer Yun Young-Beom from Korea once said in his post-game interview that he prefers playing in a dark room with just a single lamp lighted to provide him with the focus instead of playing with lights on because it is distracting.
The same goes for other pro gamers.
Wings from Taiwan was also interviewed after winning the gold medal in the WCG 2009. He expressed that much of his success is due to him playing with lights off and having a small lamp lit so that he can see his keyboard well.
He said that this allows him to concentrate more on the game.
“Having lights on actually makes me sleepier and sleepy,” said a Korean pro gamer.
Some of them are so used to playing in the dark that when they play other games, where the background is also dark, they still prefer having their room lights off while playing.
On the other hand, a casual gamer who prefers playing games with lights on for entertainment said that he likes to see what is happening in real life while playing video games and doesn’t find it distracting since they are two separate things.
He also enjoys being able to do something else at the same time as gaming should his interest in the game wane.
It seems that there is no right or wrong answer to this question, but as different types of gamers have differing opinions on light settings for gaming.
Maybe it’s best to experiment and try both kinds out!
The one thing most would agree on, however, is that little kids should play games in a well-lit area with lights on to prevent any accidents from happening.
Reasons For Playing With Lights Off
There are many reasons for them to prefer playing in the dark. I listed some of the most common factors here:
- To concentrate more on the game and avoid distractions.
- To feel that they are immersed into a “virtual world” or “different dimension” where the only thing that matters is the game.
- To focus on their opponent and not let them know they are nervous or excited, especially when playing with high stake matches like in world championships or finals.
- To have a clearer view of the game, avoid eye troubles like temporary blindness and so forth because of the glare from lights.
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Why Do Gamers Play In The Dark? How Does Lighting Affect Gaming Performance?
Research suggests that lighting conditions have an impact on video game performance.
This is because gamers need to rely on their [vision] to play most games and game controllers usually lack screens for displaying the graphics in most games, which requires the player to look at a separate screen (monitor).
While some games require players to react quickly (e.g., first-person shooters), other games require players to plan their actions far ahead of time (e.g., strategy).
This means that different games will have different advantages when played with the lights on or off, depending on the requirements for playing them well.
Should You Play Games In The Dark? What Experts Say?
“You will win more games if you play them in the dark.”
These are the words of Nick Yee, a game researcher with expertise in statistical modeling and psychometrics.
What does he mean? Playing video games with your lights off allows you to focus on the details without being distracted by other things around you.
This is not only true for video games but also for real life.
Those that work in dimly lit offices have more chances of success and happiness than those who are exposed to sunlight every now and then.
Nick Yee has conducted a study analyzing the effects of playing games in different environments with varying brightness levels using an online poll made available from December 7th, 2006, to March 11th, 2007.
The poll consisted of 100 questions with multiple choice answers on the different factors that would affect a gamer’s experience.
The study contains fascinating conclusions revealed by over 10,000 participants from all around the world:
- Playing games in low light conditions makes you more alert and able to concentrate better than when playing in the light.
- Playing in a dark room will increase your concentration and allow you to focus on what’s important.
- You win more points when playing in the dark!
- No matter what genre of game you play, whether MMORPG or FPS, playing in the dark will increase your performance.
The reaction time and hand-eye coordination are better under low light conditions.
The results that came from this study can be considered great news for all the gamers out there.
Not only does it prove that playing games in the dark are a lot better, but also that even FPS games are better played at night!
It’s not very hard to understand why playing in the light has negative repercussions on your gaming performance:
You don’t want to be distracted by something else than the game itself.
The game developers put a lot of effort into making games as realistic as possible, and you don’t want to miss that by playing with your lights on!
Is It Bad For Eyes To Play With The Lights Off?
The answer to this most frequently asked question is yes, it can be bad for your eyes.
It’s definitely not good for your eyes to sit in the dark with a bright screen while doing something that requires a lot of focus.
People play video games in the dark to eliminate all distractions and increase concentration, but that may actually hinder their performance.
You can experience eye strain due to the screen reflection and glare.
Reducing or eliminating light actually reduces a good bit of that visual annoyance.
You also tend to blink less, which can cause dry eyes, soreness, and even infection if you play too long without blinking.
If your eyes are in poor health, to begin with, it can cause problems, too.
The bigger issue is if you’re playing for an extended period of time. If you continue to strain your eyes, they’ll get tired, which will lead to eye fatigue and even headaches.
If that happens while gaming, you may feel the need to take a break from the game, but it’s important to do so.
If you stop playing and rest your eyes for a few minutes, the headaches will go away. But if you continue to play while they’re tired, then the pain will become more severe and last longer.
It may seem like common sense not to play games in the dark for long periods, but there are plenty of people who do it.
Just remember that it’s not healthy and take the time to adjust your environment, even if only for a while.
You’ll be able to play longer with less eye strain and frustration if you follow these tips:
- Play in a well-lit room or at least have some lights on, preferably from behind you. This eliminates visual distractions and glare, which is the biggest issue for most people.
You’ll also want to have plenty of light when your eyes get tired so that they don’t start hurting just because your eyes are straining to read small print or see objects on the screen clearly.
- Adjust your monitor brightness if possible. It needs to be bright enough that you can read what’s on the screen easily but dim enough that it doesn’t hurt your eyes.
If you don’t know how to do this, then just keep adjusting until it looks normal and comfortable for you. If you have a friend over who knows how to adjust monitor brightness, they could help.
- Take a break every hour or so to avoid eye fatigue. It helps your eyes recover and feel better, which is especially true if you haven’t taken breaks before.
If you’re not sure when it’s time for a break, then set the alarm to remind yourself or just take one after playing for an hour. Your eyes will thank you for it.
- Don’t squint to see the screen clearly. This will cause your eyes to work harder and increase eye fatigue, so just adjust your monitor’s brightness instead of putting up with that strain.
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Is Gaming In Complete Darkness Bad For Your Eyes?
Yes, it is. To play games in complete darkness is basically to strain your eyes more and more as you get tired.
If someone tells you that they can play for hours at a time without any issues from it, then they’re probably lying or just don’t realize how the lack of light affects their ability to see clearly.
So What If I Have A Monitor That Makes It So The Screen Is Dimmer When The Lights Are On?
That’s the ideal situation if you’re going to play in a well-lit room.
It’ll increase visibility and reduce eye strain while allowing you to still have some light in the room.