Sony vs. The Church of England

Dennis Faas's picture

Sony now has a new enemy: God. Well, sort of.

The Church of England has accused the company of using Manchester Cathedral in its first-person-shooter (FPS) video game, "Resistance: Fall of Man."

Sony, of course, denies the charges.

The Church has requested a formal apology and removal of the game from store shelves. Is Sony likely to comply? Probably not.

"It is game-created footage, it is not video or photography," Sony spokesman David Wilson said to The London Times. "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."

However, Church officials have made it clear that they don't consider it harmless "entertainment" at all.

"This is an important issue," stated the dean of Manchester Cathedral, The Very Rev. Rogers Govender. "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," he continued, "and it is a shame to have Sony undermining our work."

Rt. Rev. Nigel McCulloch, the bishop of Manchester Cathedral, agrees: "It is well known that Manchester has a gun crime problem. For a global manufacturer to recreate one of our great cathedrals with photorealistic quality and then encourage people to have gun battles in the building is beyond belief and highly irresponsible."

The Church may consider legal action if its demands aren't met by Sony. (Source:

Gordon Kelly, a writer for technology review website Trusted Reviews raises a good point: "In Sony's defence 'Resistance' does come with a BBFC 15 age rating and it does make deliberate reference to English locals throughout for context, but would it have dared to use the Vatican? I think not." (Source:

Resistance: Fall of Man is Sony's most acclaimed PlayStation 3 title thus far, and regularly sits atop the console's sales list. (Source:

Thus, expect some resistance from Sony themselves.

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