In fact, one could even go as far as changing the game's rules such that exploration will become fun in its own way.
That actually seems like a good idea. For more than just the player sense. I like the idea to start thinking of games as more than just the combination of all layers of game play. But instead consider the different layers as potential sources of fun. For instance, Take one of the classic 2D Mario side scrollers, like SMB1 or SMB3. What if you just turned off all Enemies? Would the game still be fun? If not, you could also look at why. You would be finding treasures, secret areas, racing through different obstacle levels, etc... If part of that proves not too fun, perhaps you could consider what things you could do the the environment and events to make it more fun. I have to imagine the game over all would benefit from that.
For a more agile approach to gaming, you could have a lot of these features programmed to enable/disable from the start. It would be a great testing tool, (which is what I believe most cheats started as) but also let you try out different parts of the game, and see if the game is more or less fun with certain options. No Turtles in mario, Sliding shells don't hurt but instead just get caught. Then for players who pay for the add-on, it simply enables the settings for those. Instead of 'God-Mode' it is a selection of settings to configure what happens on a global level.
Now don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to say that every game should be built like this. But I think its a perfectly reasonable idea.
I would point out a significant reason why some games absolutely should not. (though I'm sure there could be reasons)
- Suppose you did have a 'No-Damage', or 'God-Mode' that you supported in game, out of box. Just for the heck of it. If a player has that mode on (otherwise titled Bunny Slippers for difficulty) and does find one of these stuck-in-a-lava-pit traps, then that would appear to be a bug in what is otherwise supported.
To support demonkoryu's idea on the matter: if this were just part of the game, then those are bugs, mistakes. And if the developer releases an addon-patch for god-mode, then those issues are still bugs. But if a third party develops it, then it is obviously a 'hack' of sorts, and not supported by the game's developer.
Final opinion, I'm going to try implementing this in one of my next games to support it. (multi-player only game at the moment, so no go yet) Worst case, I can always just hide the options if it seems to suck.