In a forthcoming update to Minecraft, not only will you be able to gain levels. You’ll lose your levelling progress if you die.
“I’m a big roguelike fan,” explains Notch. “It’s really fun. The idea is that you level up really, really fast. You can grind away and level up fast if you want to, or you can just play as normal and level up that way. The longer you play, the bigger the risk of dying becomes. It’s the part that really works. If it feels like it’s too harsh, we might make it half or something like that. But the fact that you lose everything – you lose all your inventory anyways.”
I already delete my entire world whenever I die in Minecraft, so that sounds alright to me – what do you think?