Once was a time you said something, or did something in a game, and it mattered. Games were primitive, they were punitive. But these days? With 2/3 of the industry chasing dog suits and Dogz for a cheap buck and the other 1/3 falling back on quicksaves and 6-hour campaigns, things have got...lighter. Easier. More meaningless. Something BioWare have had enough of, co-founder Greg Zeschuk is saying:
As an attempt to appeal to a broader and broader audience, consequence has left gaming. Everything is very low impact and there's no real negative result that can occur. We're going to start bringing that back but in a rational way, a way that doesn't punish the player -- but puts them on the spot.
Please, do. My most defining memory of BioWare's Mass Effect was the Wrex showdown, think they worked consequence (without punishment) in there almost perfectly.