Originally Posted by ka1man

TBH, I was thinking on a reply on my way home, but decided to check the video first. To my surprise, it had my answer right there: namely "failure is a consequence".

Since we were just talking about (fake) urgency, I guess the most common "motivation" for the player is the looming catastrophe. But letting it actually happen would amount to a failure state. And a lot of games don't want players to fail.

Even on a small scale, there is often no opportunity to make a wrong decision. No wrong answer in dialogue, no way to irreversibly fail at the solution of a puzzle, no dungeon area that remains forever locked if we do or fail to do something.

How can there be real urgency if nothing negative or inconvenient is allowed to befall the player, no matter the scale?

That's called "bad design" and "hand-holding consolitis". I.e. BiowEAre. Of course failure is a consequence. In Planescape Torment you could fail conversations let alone anything else. Failure should be a consequence not because of "hurr durr console tards don't know challenge" but out of the overarching goal of creating a believable world with real causality. Failure also doesn't mean the "game over" screen, though that is one state of failure.