Or at least according to Espen, in his speach at my PhD dinner. Personally, I think Espen takes his games way too seriously, but he isn't alone. By way of Jill I found a group of art students who built a pain game: no pain no game. This mirrors an idea shown in Never Say Never Again, a James Bond movie from 1983.
Somehow I don't think Espen meant just that kind of no-fun, but I think this is at the core of gaming. To prove that you can endure more than the other, run faster, stay longer at the monitor, think more tricky thoughts, take more pain.