Original post by Kest
Possibly. But how can you succeed with danger intact? If there's nothing to lose by failing, there is no danger.
The only thing they have to lose is their own time. Time is something that means a lot to people, especially if they only get a few hours a week to play games. No matter what you do, this will remain true.
Therefore, make them want to succeed by creating a sense of immersion, an attachment to the game, the world, and the characters in it. Of course, this will not materially change what they have to lose, because they can always restart and try again. But that's something you can't change anyway. It's just a game! If you attempt to make it more "dangerous" by forcing them to re-invest large amounts of time if they lose, all you will succeed in doing is pissing people off.
Artificially inflated difficulty was fine when you only had 16KB to play with, or were writing an arcade game where you had to keep sucking in the next 10p. If you're not working under either of those conditions, and feel a need to make the game more difficult than it needs to be because you are too incompetent to find a better way to keep people playing, then you are writing the game to make yourself feel good by punishing the player, and that's not a game I, for one, want to play.