One benefit to reading a large number of research articles is gaining the ability to identify flaws in studies and reasoning. In particular, a study I reviewed by Barr et. al. (2007) helped me to get an idea of the sorts of methods that are appropriate for a study in HCI, and what researchers should and should not do in their studies. It was quite insightful for me to read a primarily theoretical paper then follow it up with an article about an experiment such as this one.
Pleasure to Play, Arousal to Stay: The Effect of Player Emotions on Digital Game Preferences and Playing Time. Poels, Karolien; van den Hoogen, Wouter; Ijsselsteijn, Wijnand; de Kort, Yvonne. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking. Jan 2012, Vol. 15, No. 1: 1-6. DOI: 10.1089/cyber.2010.0040
This article studies the relationships between player emotion, playing time, and game preferences. There has not been a substantial amount of research studying the relationships between these three factors, particularly in the home environment, as games have moved from the arcades to homes in the last 20-30 years. In the study, nineteen participants played four different games (two first person shooters and two racing games), and were analyzed with physiological measurements as well as self-reports. Three categories of emotions were evaluated: pleasure, arousal, and dominance. The study found that pleasure predicted short-term game preference while arousal predicted long-term game preference. Pleasure also strongly predicted playing time, while arousal only contributed to long-term playing time. The study was not able to accurately measure the effects of dominance on gameplay or preferences.