Hey there squids and kids! Like some science with that Splatoon? Well have we got something perfect then. Welcome to a special article on Splatoon Science! Today we're going to look at Splatoon through a more scientific lens to learn some interesting things about the game. Imagine if the colors that came up in any given match could actually account for who won a particular game. Think if the color of gear or an arena might change the way a particular player performs in a match. Both of these things are VERY possible. So sit down and prepare to learn the science of Color Psychology!
Color psychology is a very unique form of psychological study where scientists study how various color hues can affect human behavior. It may not seem like colors have that much power over the human psyche but it has been proven they often do. They can change how we taste food, reduce crime rates, change how attractive we find people, and make people more likely to purchase products. So with colors being so powerful in our psyche, could they change the outcome of a Splatoon match?
Red vs Blue
Many competitive sports as well as video games place competitors into separate uniforms with specific colors with the most commonly used being red and blue. While most would never see this as unfair the competitors in red have actually been shown to win more matches of even skill than those who were in blue. In a study publish in 2008 data was taken from 1,347 games with equally skilled players in Unreal Tournament 2004, a game in which teams were either the red team or the blue team. While the data was expected to be split much closer to the middle it turned out that the team in red won 5% more matches than the team in blue.
While it may not seem like a large number, those conducting the study found it to be quite significant. "Our data suggest that joining the red team may offer a slight advantage over the blue team in virtual competition, and this should be accounted for when designing FPS games." the study published. So why is it that the red could actually increase their win rate? "It is likely that "seeing red" may trigger a powerful psychological distractor signal in human aggressive competition that can affect the outcome of sports and virtual contests alike."
It doesn't stop in the world of virtual competition either. A study done during the 2004 Olympic games showed that those of equal skill who wore red while competing in boxing, taekwondo, and freestyle wrestling won 10% more of their matches than their blue wearing counterparts. Another study also showed referees were more likely to award the player wearing red more points than those in blue. A study of the 2004 EUFA European Championship found teams in red were more likely to win games and perform better. Yet another study showing player taking penalty kicks in soccer were likely to perform worse if the goalkeeper wore a red uniform.
So does this article just end with Red is Best? It might have if not for studies done within League of Legends. In said study done for The Daily Dot, it was shown that players who were on the blue team were the ones winning a significantly larger number of matches. In the 2014 North American Summer Playoffs for League of Legends the teams in blue won 79.3% of games over their red counterparts. The colors actually affected many aspects of play whether red or blue was chosen all of which can be found in the original study here.
This study however does not show that red cannot offer an advantage, nor does it show that these color choices and results came from random luck. It shows that different colors will help players perform in different ways. It seems that blue colors encourage creativity and thinking in the long term where as red colors encouraged more aggression among players. Famous Youtube channel The Game Theorists covered this subject in more detail in a video released in June of 2015 which can be viewed by those wanting to learn even more.
Applications In Splatoon
For those who are fan of our sister site Smashboards, they may be wondering if there will be many differences between how color can affect Smash games to how to can affect Splatoon games. In Splatoon the choice of colors becomes very interesting as in each match teams are given one of two contrasting colors. Did Splatoon developers consider this in their balance of color choices? Let's find out!
The Sunken Scrolls Showing Off Many Color Combinations
There are MANY color combinations available in a Splatoon match. Including Splatfests there are over twenty possible combinations. An interesting website called Colour Affects UK has descriptions on the general associations and affects colors can have on the human psyche. Comparing many of these combinations would show that each team should be gaining various psychological advantages in each game that could be weighing unfairly on each other but in Splatoon things get a little more interesting.
To start: players do not pick their colors before any given match. So the players cannot choose n any way to receive an advantage. Colors often cycle out as well so that any long term advantage a team would potentially gain is minimized. With both colors of ink splattered across the screen it also helps minimize the effect as players have to focus on not only their own color, but the color of the opponent as well more frequently than most other kinds of games.
Also remember that the advantages a player could gain from color only start to really show themselves in games where players are equally skilled. In short it seems the balancing team not only made some seriously fresh combinations but also kept color psychology in mind for the game design.
This wonderful colorful game that is Splatoon really had some funky fresh ideas on color implemented into its creation and it seems color psychology was one of them. Learn something interesting from the article or noticed something we may have missed? Let us know in the comments below and don't forget to stay fresh!
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Splatoon Science - Color Psychlogy