In the Gamespot interview, Gabe Newell has some interesting thoughts on the whole SG problem. In his opinion, the real problem is that players don't trust the game designers: they want to make it through every situation with as much health and armor as they cn for the NEXT situation, and so on. Players have come to expect that designers are just out to kill them in as many ways as they can as many times as possible, and so players have to fight back with constant quicksaves. He points out that the ultimate goal is not to kill the plyer, but to excite the player and have them enjoy the game: the real potential for death is only an incidental mechanism for creating excitement: it shouldn't be seen as a substitute for egaging the player in the game, and making death more likely is not the same thing as making the game more challenging in an _interesting_ way. I'm not sure however, that his solution "make the players trust us more" will really work, especially if most gamers never hear this intention, and most games don't follow through anyway.