Originally Posted by homogenic
They're not mistaken--colors on a video display are artificial regardless of how natural technicians attempt to make them appear--our eyes are drawn to a higher contrast image.
Video color is no more "artificial" than color in a photo, color in a movie, color on a refrigerator or washing machine, on a car, on a can of Coke, on clothing, on a page of a magazine, on a house, or even on an apple or orange or tomato or flower or leaf. ALL color excites the rods and cones in our eyes in precisely the same way regardless of origin.
Every current imaging technology has gamut and contrast limitations... video, printed page, film, digital video cameras. None of them fully duplicate the live viewing experience with total precision, but they can be so close to the live viewing experience that you essentially replicate (closely, if not precisely) the live viewing experience.
Your statement regarding people being drawn to a "higher contrast image" is SCIENTIFICALLY proven to not be true. You seem to be equating high contrast with color temperature and they have nothing to do with each other. A 9500K image will have PRECISELY the same contrast ratio as a 6500K version of the same image provided your viewing medium (film, digital display, printed page, etc.) are the same for both images and that the images are not manipulated beyond changing the color temperature.
If you have a test subject and show them 2 photos of, say, a bowl of fruit and flowers on a wood table partially covered with an interesting textile, given no instruction nor any reference image, they would have a tendency to pick an image that was slightly more saturated. But if you provide the test subjects with a REFERENCE, like the original scene with the original lighting and they can then compare the 2 images to the reference. If you then instruct the test subjects to select the most accurate representation of the real "scene" they actually do quite well at selecting the more accurate of 2 (or more) test images.
We have a reference standard for video. When the source adheres to the standard, and the video display adheres closely to the standard, you get a surprisingly good match for the original, a match made possible by engineers and technicians from many disciplines working with the same standards. The thing about video is that if you get video images around 80% accurate or better within the capabilities of the video display technology, the human brain begins to accept them as real and you will get physical responses to impending danger (combat simulation, flight simulation, race car driving simulation, and TONS of video games). Even when the test subjects KNOW they are in a simulation, they can't stop the physical responses to what is happening in their video environment, even though it may be 100% artificial in the sense that it only exists in video. And that alone keeps the video game industry pushing the envelope to make gaming experiences increasingly more intense.