Vision (night) – The ability to see clearly in total darkness. Vision (night) is also known as Darkness Optics, Darkvision, Night Vision and Nocturnal Vision. This is unlike 474) Vision (infrared). In real life, night vision goggles work by collecting what little amount of light is available and amplifying that light so that the light can be discerned by the naked eye. Infrared is a new technology employed with night vision goggles. Rather than employing visible light and amplifying them, infrared goggles rely on infrared waves that are emitted by anything that emits heat. The difference in temperatures between objects provides the contrast to identify between different objects.
In speculative fiction, a character like Doctor Mid-Nite (DC) would be able to see in an environment in which there is no light to amplify and possibly no infrared radiation!
Darkvision (Dungeons & Dragons) allows the creature to see up to 60 feet even in TOTAL darkness. Darkvision can be granted via a spell.