If things were as simple as "do (x) to make the player (y)" then it wouldn't be very entertaining, now would it?
Not quite true. If you stumbled onto the holy grail of being able to create and foster a positive emotional connection with "do (x) to make the player (y)" then you would rake in millions from the poker machine business. (Not to mention possible "brainwashing" concerns such as the ability to foster emotiional addictions by creating them). At the very heart of games...it is all about different forms of repetition. It is an inescapable reality that can only at best with today's technology be disguised with pretty art, great stories, challenges, etc. Call of Duty Multiplayer one of the more popular FPS's out there not only contains consistently repetitious gameplay but the entire franchise emulates this as well. The only non-repetituous aspect about the game are the players themselves...but even then their goals never really waver: Kill the enemy (a repetitious task), Capture the flags (A repetitious task), etc. The only true freedom comes down to moving where you want within the confines of a mini-sandbox, and choosing what actions to take (if any) - but at the end of the day the actions you have don't step out of confines of your repetitious limitations.
Edit: I left of the tail end. -- Basically video games already pretty much do (x) to make the player (y) especially in linear games where content progression requires players to follow the designed course....matching that with an emotional component successfully and with intention provides the type of immersion that makes a game attractive to play, sell, recommend etc