I was involved in an interesting discussion with a fellow Danish blogger (in Danish, unfortunately, so I can't just link to it) about what he sees as differences between fx. American and Danish roleplayers when it comes to character advocacy in particular. I'll try and put Oliver's thoughts forward here, but he's around so he can chime in and correct me if I'm mis-representing him.
It's not really what I want to ask you guys, but for reference Oliver thinks that the American way is to root for your character to succeed and overcome obstacles, while the Danish (Nordic?) way is just as much to root for your character to fail and get knocked down, if it makes for a more interesting story. I don't quite see this split, and indeed several games endulge in making failure interesting (The Burning Games, AW etc.).
But following on from that, Oliver argues that some games' mechanics only work if you actively take the side of your player character and gives Polaris as an example. I don't have enough play experience with the game to judge whether he's right or wrong, so I hope some of you who have played a lot of it can help. Oliver is arguing along these lines:
In Polaris it's imperative to seek possibilities for being a hero and saving the world, while the game and your opponent will make sure you fail. On this road to failure it's important to be a proponent of the hero and help him because the bigger the fall when it happens. The game mechanics are sharply built towards that, and if you step outside the whole structure fails.
I don't think I agree with this, but I don't have any actual play examples to show. Any thoughts, actual play examples? Is Polaris broken?