Over on damnedmachines they have a question for me. The answer goes something like this. In general, I'm not supposed to talk about Spider-Man 2 without going through Activision PR, but I think this is innocuous enough...
The main reason there used to be no save-anywhere on consoles (and Spider-Man 2 doesn't really have save-anywhere; it's like Zelda, although you can save anywhere, when you restore your game, you find you're at the beginning of the mission you saved in the middle of) was technical; there wasn't enough space on the memory card. It's also a major challenge to code save-anywhere, so now that there is enough space on your typical memory card, most of us are stuck with engines that don't support the feature. Rewriting the Spider-Man 2 engine so it could handle save-anywhere would take a lot of effort, and would seriously impact the way all the designers built their missions...a steep price to pay for something that might, as Amit puts it, ruin the gaming experience. If all things were equal, though, I'd want save anywhere. If people want to ruin their own gaming experiences that sometimes should be their prerogative; much better than having someone quit your game altogether because their last save was too far back.
Still, Amit is right that some people will ruin their own game experience with abuse of quicksave, cheats, or other exploits. Once someone said to me, "I don't get what everyone thinks is so great about Doom. I dunno, maybe I shouldn't play it on God mode." Which reminds me: I read Raph Koster's Theory of Fun last week, and one of my favorite parts was where he talks about players tendency to bottom-feed in various ways, to find exploits which suck the very fun out of the game. This tendency of people is yet another thing that makes game development difficult. (I had other thoughts reading the book, a handful of stuff I'd like to argue about, maybe I'll write about it later.)
I've also met people who don't like a high density of checkpoints. These people grew up on console games, and, as they see it, part of the challenge should be to get through a whole level, a whole serious of challenges, without needing to save. The videogames of today are for pussies, in their opinion. They scoff at save anywhere.
So you can't win.