Skip to comments.Cathedral becomes virtual battleground for Church of England and Sony
Posted on 06/11/2007 5:56:47 AM PDT by siunevada
LONDON (AFP) - Deeply offended and worried about gun crime in its midst, the Church of England on Sunday mulled taking legal action against Sony Corp. for featuring a cathedral in a violent computer game.
Church officials accused the Japanese entertainment and electronics giant of using without permission the historic interior of Manchester Cathedral as the backdrop for the new PlayStation 3 war game "Resistance: Fall of Man".
"It is well known that Manchester has a gun crime problem," the Right Reverend Nigel McCulloch, the Bishop of Manchester, told BBC television on Saturday.
"For a global manufacturer to re-create one of our great cathedrals with photo-realistic quality and then encourage people to have gun battles in the building is beyond belief and highly irresponsible.
"We know the reality of gun crime and the devastating effects it can have on the lives -- it is not a trivial matter," he said.
The cathedral itself in Britain's third city in northwest England has held memorial services for victims of gun crime.
Using any cathedral as the setting for a violent game is "so inappropriate and offensive," McCulloch added.
The Church of England will write to Sony on Monday demanding an apology and the game's withdrawal from sale, a Church spokesman said. It will consider legal action if the demands are not met, he added.
In a statement aired on BBC television, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe said it "is aware of the concerns expressed by the Bishop of Manchester and we naturally take the concerns very seriously."
Sony added that it believed it had "sought and received all permissions necessary for the creation of the game," but will contact the cathedral authorities on Monday "to understand their concerns in more detail."
Sony also said the game amounts to science fiction where the targets are aliens rather than humans.
The game, which has sold more than one million copies, features a bloody virtual shoot-out between rival fighters that leaves hundreds killed.
The game's website says "Resistance: Fall of Man" takes place in an alternative 20th century in which it is 1951 and World War II never happened. However, humanity is threatened by brutal invaders, the Chimera.
It features "an impressive arsenal and vigorous action as your character fights the horrific and technologically superior enemy," says the website.
The game "offers both a compelling combat experience and a chilling vision of Europe," the website says.
But the Dean of Manchester Cathedral, the Very Reverend Rogers Govender, spoke of his "absolute shock and horror" at seeing clips from the game which he said clearly represent the inside of his cathedral.
Patsy McKie from Mothers Against Violence, whose son Dorrie was killed in Manchester, told both BBC and Sky News television that it was time to take on the makers of violent games.
"I'm standing here as ... a mother who lost her son," McKie told Sky News. "We can't say 'well it's just a game.'"
Speaking to the BBC, McKie said: "I believe it's something that needs to be taken seriously first by the Church but also by parents. There's a war going on -- not just in Iraq, but right here on our doorstep."
Arlene McCarthy, a Labour member of the European parliament, supported demands for an apology from Sony.
"It's very insensitive to the communities, in particular to those families who have lost children," McCarthy told BBC television.
"We're fighting a battle to get guns off the streets and to get young kids weaned off the gun culture that is promoted in this game," she said.
They are a little late to be complaining. This game came out months ago. One of the best games for the PS3.
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