Numbers next to names, part 3
Finally, one of the most compelling aspects of levels is the lure of power. Levels promise increments to a player’s health, their damage per second, and so on. People like feeling more powerful — it’s not social validation, it’s the game system itself giving them validation.
As he argues in his article, you don't need to use this in your game design. It certainly causes a bunch of game design issues. I know for sure that you don't need to use power inflation for a compelling experience from the experience in casual games I mentioned earlier.