Take a look at this great post by Nate Winchester, readers:
Well Done Stakes
Something I’ve come to learn about stories: When it comes to their stakes, it really doesn’t matter (except it does).
I’ve heard it said more than once, “The audience can tell you the problem, but not the solution.” This applies to both stories and game design. The basic idea is that the audience can help you see where a problem is, even if they can’t give you the best solution for it.