Sony has not had much luck over the past couple of years, with a lawsuit related to its rumble technology hitting hard and the recent Blu-ray copyright breach fiasco shaking the company considerably. Now, though, it seems it has upset the Church of England as well!
Over on the BBC’s UK website there is a report regarding how the Church of England is currently considering whether or not to take legal action against Sony after the inside of Manchester Cathedral was depicted without permission in Resistance: Fall of Man, the extremely popular (selling over a million units worldwide already), but highly violent war-related PlayStation 3 launch title. However, Sony has stated it thought it already had all the required permissions to use the location…
“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.”
- A company statement in response to the allegations.
Despite this, and the fact that Sony was set to talk with cathedral authorities yesterday “to understand their concerns in more detail,” the Church has demanded an official apology and requested that the game be completely removed from retailers across the country, or else legal action with be forthcoming.
Considering Manchester’s history of gun crime, the decision to feature the city’s cathedral has been deemed “highly irresponsible”:
“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.”
- The Bishop of Manchester, the Right Reverend Nigel McCulloch.
“We are shocked to see a place of learning, prayer and heritage being presented to the youth market as a location where guns can be fired. 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.”
- The Dean of Manchester Cathedral, the Very Reverend Rogers Govender.
Obviously the reports have stirred up all sorts of controversy, especially amongst resident of Manchester, such as Patsy McKie, from Mothers Against Violence, who sadly was faced with her son being killed in the Northern UK city. McKie believes that it is time to stand up to the creators of such horrific video games, thinking that both the Church and parents themselves should take the whole situation far more seriously, since “There’s a war going on - not just in Iraq, but right here on our doorstep.”
Sony, however, has retaliated with the fact that the game is set “in an alternate and mythical version of Europe in the 1950s, in which the enemy are strange-looking alien invaders seeking to destroy humanity”. And David Wilson, a Sony spokesman, has spoken out in the newspaper The Times, stating: “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.”
If action is taken on the legal side, you have to wonder just where this will all end…