back to article Sony apologies over virtual cathedral firefight

Sony has gone down upon penitent knee and apologised to the Church of England for including Manchester Cathedral as a location for a brutal gun battle in its Resistance: Fall of Man video game. In a letter sent to the Dean of the cathedral last week, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe wrote: "It was not our intention to cause …


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  1. James O'Shea

    not going to happen

    Sony already went too far. The CoE isn't going to get an apology, and does not deserve one.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fiction as Fact - AGAIN!!

    I wonder when the church will stop whingeing about works of fiction as if they were fact; this attitude it truly ludicrous.

    Hold on – someone’s whispering in my ear - “What d’you mean what about the bible?……….Oh yeah, silly me.”

    Sorry I’m going to have to recant my remark.

  3. Andy


    get over it will you its only a game!!! ..................

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    So, let me see if I understand this: Sony have said that they are very sorry if they have caused any offence, but that they are going to do f*ck all about it and continue to sell the game? Have I missed something? Doesn't that sound a little like lip service and that they aren't really sorry - did their thought process go somewhere along the lines of "It's alright, they're Christians, they HAVE to forgive us."

  5. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Sony sees no connection

    <<it said did not believe "there is any connection between contemporary issues in 21st Century Manchester and the work of science fiction in which a fictitious 1950s Britain is under attack by aliens".>>

    But the Church of England does. Does that mean that the CoE knows something we don't ? Does the Archbishop of Canterbury have a Batcave from where he directs special Angel hit-squads defending London from alien invasion ?

    I think we should be told.

  6. Electro Boy

    Gun crime?

    "....Sony had shown a particular lack of sensitivity by setting this part of the game in a city troubled with gun crime....." about hamming it up. It's Manchester were talking about here, not Beirut.

  7. Brent Carpenter

    Here we go again...

    I don't mean to make light of any gun-related problems that are apparently so prevalent in Manchester, but seriously, come on.

    I have this game and play it often. It sits near my copies of the Grand Theft Auto series for PS2.

    Not once have I felt the need to pick up a weapon, steal a car or spend time with a prostitute (then "persuade" her to give back my cash using gentle persuasion and a dirty great katana) - at least not in real life.

    As for Resistance, the original moan from the C of E was something about using the Cathedral hosting a firefight between "rival gunmen".

    These rival gunmen mentioned by those level-headed religious types consists of a U.S. squaddie plugging a bunch of mutated alien-hybrids. In an alternate reality. In the 1950s. In a videogame.

    Resistance is set in an alternate vision of the 1950s where the Second World War never happened, given that Europe was preoccupied with fighting off and eventually succumbing to an alien invasion spreading from Russia. Great Britain was the final outpost of humanity and being rapidly brought to its knees. Of course the main focus is the hero, U.S. Marine/Ranger/whatever Nathan Hale, saving us weak Brits left, right and centre (or should that be "center"?).

    The joy of this game is seeing a recreation of British landmarks in a game played worldwide, and not your typical ones either. Manchester as mentioned, York, Grimsby, even Cheddar Gorge (a particular favourite for a Westcountry boy).

    The National Trust (or whoever it is that owns the cheesy canyon) don't feel the need to complain - although I suppose teenagers are not shooting each other for mobiles and trainers on the streets of Cheddar.

    I know there are wildly different opinions on this subject, but mine is that yes, some people are negatively affected by videogames. But surely they are already unbalanced and just waiting for the wrong thing to set them off? If I could be bothered to mount an investigation into how many crimes are attributed to God/Jesus/insert your preferred religion here and how many can be traced in any way back to GTA/Postal/Manhunt/insert your preferred scapegoat here, then I'm sure I would not be bowled over in surprise by the results.

    I'm all for considered and sensible monitoring of the content of games, but as far as I can remebember Resistance carries a "15" certificate, meaning it has been passed through the BBFC and approved. The BBFC being the body responsible for censorship (or "classification" as it is termed nowadays) of these things. What's their opinion?

    Freedom of speech entitles people the opportunity to air their opinions and that is right and just. But there is no legislation against airing those opinions when you don't really understand what you're complaining about.

    I do not and may not ever fully appreciate the awfulness of dealing with the consequences of the problems Mancunians have to face, living in Devon has that advantage. But this (increasingly lengthy, sorry) post will not go as far as reaching the mainstream media - so even if it is ill-considered and poorly-informed I make no apologies.

    Just please, stop attacking videogames for putting violence in the minds of people.

    It's the people putting guns in the hands of kids we should really be focusing on.

  8. Dick


    Sony should be more sensitive to cultural issues. Maybe even promote games with religious themes?

    Coming soon to PS3 "Torquemada - Hero of the Inquisition" (Rated M for Mature).

  9. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

    Is it just me or...?

    does this not sound a little like blackmail by the CoE?

    As for the basis of their complaint, perhaps I ought to write to them to get permission for the idea for my lastest game..Bell-Ring Sim. In it, some of the protaganists 'make out' in the Belfry.

    I suppose the CoE will object as their is already quite enough sex going on in Manchester thankyou-very-much.

    The Church doing what the Church does best - opress.

  10. Morely Dotes

    New game idea - free for whoever wants to develop it

    You can than the Luddites at CoE for this one...

    It's the late 21st Century, and Mankind has finally realized that half of the world's problems stem from religion. The solution: A bounty on churchmen. You are a bounty hunter, and you get rewarded for hunting down and killing religious organizers - the higher in the church hierarchy, the greater the rewards. A Curate might net you 5 bob, and the Archbishop of Canterbury - well, that would be an easy 5 grand! Commensurate rewards for other religions, of course.

  11. Sean O'Connor

    Stop the violence

    Maybe if the church is so against promoting violence they could get rid of all those statues and pictures of that bloke being brutally tortured to death on a cross? Bit hypocritical to get all upset about a simple computer game I reckon.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    CofE complains of violence ...

    ... fails to mention Treasons Act of 1534 (outlawing Catholicism on pain of death).

  13. Chris Rimmer

    May as well put an opposing view

    There are some valid points in the comments, but some demonstrate a self-righteousness of some atheists and a lack of clear thought.

    "Half of the world's problems stem from religion".

    I'd say it's not religion per se, but arrogance and self-righteousness. The state terrorism of Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot certainly can't be blamed on religion. Should atheism be denounced because of their actions?

    The abolition of trans-atlantic slavery was in large part prompted by the religious beliefs of campaigners. Many charities are founded and funded by people who want to help their neighbours out of a sense of religious conviction.

    "Maybe if the church is so against promoting violence they could get rid of all those statues and pictures of that bloke being brutally tortured to death on a cross?"

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think that the church is seeking to promote violence by depicting the crucifixion. As far as I remember, Christians aren't called upon to torture people to death. I think the idea was more about reflecting on what Christians believe that God was prepared to suffer for mankind's sake.

    "CofE complains of violence ... fails to mention Treasons Act of 1534 (outlawing Catholicism on pain of death)."

    Was that Act passed by the General Synod of the Church of England, or by the secular Parliament? Were there any political motivations to it, rather than religious ones?

    For the record, I am a Christian, but in the absence of much evidence available to me I don't have strong opinions either way about the effects of gun-related video games.

  14. Michael H.

    "Church-led education efforts"

    I wonder what the 'Church-led education efforts to fight gun crime in the city' are? More anti-gun propaganda that they want Sony to fund?

    "It's the guns and the video games that turn sweet innocent youth into drug dealers and gang members! Stay away from them kids, or Satan will get hold of you!"

  15. Stuart Castle

    The church is partly right.

    I'm not defending the church entirely, as I find it highly suspicious that they have made all this fuss and then basically told Sony all will be OK if Sony give a large donation (still, that does sound like the church in my opinion).

    But, I occassionally help students to film for courseworks, and I know that legally, if we film somewhere, we are required to seek the permission of the manager and/or owner. I believe the same is required for games development.

    Now, while the owner is technically God, it may be difficult to get permission from Him, but they should have sought permission from the Church.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Gief Mooney?

    Heck, they ask for money, now THAT sounds like church for me ( greece )

  17. Colm Linehan

    Get Real!

    First of all how can they complain about a gun fight when the guns used in the battles are all imaginary and futuristic and do not exist I have not heard of any Plasma gun shootings in Manchester of late...........

    Sony perhaps should have sought permission to use the name of Manchester Cathedral - but as no real footage is used it is all fictional. Does the CoE look for money from every author who writes a book and mentions a local church somewhere? This is just a ploy by some fund-raising committee to try and shame a large donation out of corporate funds.

    btw has the Church apologised for all the people it killed during the Crusades and Spanish Inquisition or all the Churches burnt down during the Reformation?

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