Church attacks Sony's violent computer game set in cathedral

Church attacks Sony over violent computer game set in Manchester cathedral

By Jonathan Went

Church of England Attacks Sony's use of Manchester Cathedral
First it was Gloucester Cathedral being used for Harry Potter, then Lincoln Cathedral used as a stand-in for Westminster Abbey in the Da Vinci Code, now though it is the non-assented-to use of Manchester Cathedral as a setting for a shoot-em-up computer game.

Manchester Cathedral

The Church of England has asked Sony to apologise and withdraw the new PlayStation 3 game, Resistance: Fall of Man, whose setting includes a violent shootout between 1950s soldiers and a futuristic opponent with people being shown killed inside the cathedral. Unlikely. Furthermore, the publicity will guarantee to increase sales of the game, Sony couldn't be more pleased.

Presumably any historic game based upon the 1170 murder in Canterbury Cathedral of Archbishop Thomas Becket would also be banned. History or fantasy? Cathedrals have been the scenes of great drama. In 2004 a priest was slain after he had celebrated Mass in the metropolitan cathedral, Santiago, Chile. Blame was attributed to satanic groups as the attacker had dressed all in black. 

The Church has said that Sony did not ask for permission to use Manchester Cathedral and demanded an apology and presumably does not want to be seen to be encouraging violence.

Church officials have described Sony's apparent use of the Cathedral as "sick" and possibly sacrilegious, and certainly insensitive to Manchester's well known gun crime problem.

David Wilson, a Sony spokesman, told The Times: "It is game-created footage, it is not video or photography. It is entertainment, like Doctor Who or any other science fiction. It is not based on reality at all. Throughout the whole process we have sought permission where necessary."

Rogers Govender, the dean of Manchester Cathedral, said, "This is an important issue. For many young people these games offer a different sort of reality and seeing guns in Manchester cathedral is not the sort of connection we want to make. Every year we invite hundreds of teenagers to come and see the cathedral and it is a shame to have Sony undermining our work."

meanwhile, the bishop of Manchester, Nigel McCulloch, added, "It is well known that Manchester has a gun crime problem. For a global manufacturer to re-create one of our great cathedrals with photorealistic quality and then encourage people to have guns battles in the building is beyond belief and highly irresponsible." Resistance: Fall of Man, Sony PS3 game screenshot

Players of the game are take on the role of an army sergeant to win a hard fought skirmish outside in the streets and inside the cathedral. From the official game website: "The first-person shooter has long been a pre-eminent game genre, thanks to such classics as Doom and Medal of Honor. But where such games either offered combat in a science fiction or World War II context, Resistance: Fall of Man blends the two with a story set in an alternate version of the 20th century. In this reality World War II never happened and there was no Nazi enemy. Instead humanity is threatened by brutal invaders, the Chimera. It’s 1951, and Britain is the last outpost of humanity in Europe, a place now seemingly deserted. The situation is looking desperate, but the US finally abandons its isolationism and begins a counter-attack."


BBC news story 

Thomas Becket 

Sony PlayStation 3 game, Resistance: Fall of Man

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