Nightmare Mode takes a look at color, and how its usage has changed over the years.
"Games of old are often remembered for their simplistic, vibrant colour schemes, while many modern games are infamous for their dirty grey-brown visuals. So what’s changed?"
Many things are touched upon, though one interesting postulation is that as gaming evolved, games wanted to be taken more seriously and less as toys.
"Children respond well to colour; that’s why most things intended for them are very vibrant and colourful. It’s because response to colour is very much subconscious and instinctive, and children don’t tend to look behind the design, or think about its effect. This association had built up over time since long before games were made available, and had become a simple, one to one assumption. Many gamers of the time were unwilling to accept that gaming be labelled as ‘for children’, and when they grew up and started developing games, as many did, they made their games much darker, and using different colour schemes, in an attempt to legitimise videogames as a mature medium."