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Sony In The Dog House After Using A Cathedral In A Game Without Permission

By Michelle Duffy     Jun 9, 2007 in Technology
Sony get to feel the full force of the Church after a well known UK Cathedral in the north of England has been featured in a violent computer game. The Playstation game which features the Cathedral, did not acquire permission
In the Playstation game, Resistance: Fall of Man, Manchester Cathedral is the backdrop of one of Sony's most blood thirsty computer games.
The Church of England are up in arms since it has been found that didn't ask for permission to feature the Cathedral. In one scene of the game, there is a bloody battle where hundreds of enemies are slaughtered in the Cathedral's nave.
Before the game had been questioned, it had already sold a million copies. The game, Sony says, was produced with all the relevant permission obtained.
They said,
"Sony Computer Entertainment Europe is aware of the concerns expressed by the Bishop of Manchester and the cathedral authorities... and we naturally take the concerns very seriously. Resistance: Fall of Man is a fantasy science fiction game and is not based on reality. We believe we have sought and received all permissions necessary for the creation of the game."
Yet Sony are far from wanting to appear the bad guy in this story and to prove that, they have announced that they will be on the phone to the Cathedral in Manchester first thing on Monday morning to iron out any misunderstandings. Can't say fairer than that....
Yet the Church won't take anything lying down and stand fast against the belief that Sony did not ask for permission. I doubt if the Cathedral would have given it's permission for such a blood bath in the first place.
So, for starters, the Church has asked Sony to remove the game from all of it's store shelves. I do hope the Church has a pretty good lawyer, because if the games are not removed, they will decide on legal action.
In the meantime, the Bishop of Manchester, the Rt Revd Nigel McCulloch, is fuming as the irresponsibility of Sony for it's conduct. The Bishop feels that in the light of the fast growing gun crime rate in the northern city, the game has been produced in very bad taste. Yet Sony aren't going to see it that way. I doubt again, that the million dollar industry is going to take a second glance at crime figures in the area that a featured Cathedral comes from.
Yet the Bishop adds,
"It is well known that Manchester has a gun crime problem. For a global manufacturer to re-create one of our great cathedrals with photo-realistic quality and then encourage people to have guns battles in the building is beyond belief and highly irresponsible. Here in Manchester we do all we can to support communities through our parish clergy. We know the reality of gun crime and the devastating effects it can have on lives. It is not a trivial matter."
It's not just the Church who feel that they have been wounded in the battle against gun crime. Many parents in the UK who have lost children to gun crime, have joined forces in the fight against violent computer games citing more violence.
Patsy McKie lost her own son to gun crime in Manchester. She now presents the support group, Mothers Against Violence. She believes it is high time such companies like Sony backed away from violent games. She 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."
Perhaps we should be able to allow our children to learn the difference between a game and reality, yet if gun crime still holds hands with computer games, then it is up to such leading companies like Sony, to set a better example....
More about Cathedral, Row over, Computer game