Round one, fight!

June 13, 2007 by Tim

Ok, so if you haven’t heard about this Church of England vs Sony thing, here’s the basic gist: In the PS3 game Resistance: Fall of Man, the Manchester Cathedral is used as an environment, and you as the player fight some aliens there. With guns, because what else are you going to fight aliens with. The Church of England has now decided they’re not too happy with this, and has demanded an apology from Sony, and that the game be removed from store shelves or there may be a lawsuit. Sony claims they believed they had all the necessary permissions to use the cathedral in the game.

Alright, so I’m not going to pretend like I know enough about the laws over in England concerning the duplication of buildings within a digital environment, and what copyright issues are attached to that whole mess. The Church of England may very well have a valid argument. You can’t expect a religious body to be happy about a shootout on church grounds, fictional as it may be, and maybe there is some legal clause preventing the imitation of real-world places without permission.

I do think it’s a little silly to get upset about events in a video game. I mean, the game is rated M for mature, so what next? Now we’re going to start nitpicking what content adults can see? Anyway, I’m sure that if the church made a game about, I don’t know, prayer service twenty-four hours a day seven days a week and used my house as a game location, I wouldn’t be too thrilled about it. But what’s the big deal?

Here’s my question, though. Resistance has been out for over six months. The game hasn’t changed, it’s not like the cathedral was patched in last week. What the hell took them so long? Why bitch about it now? Maybe they only just found out about it? (Update: as someone reminded me, the PS3 was out her in the US before it was out in Europe. So I guess the game has only been out for four months or so over there)

And there’s the other thing. How did they find out? I mean, I’m sure they don’t have a team of clergy sitting around playing video games all day, sniffing out religious references. So then I imagine it was just some religious player, but then where’s the logic there? He’s sitting, playing along “Doo-dee-doo, I have no problems with all the guns and blood and violence in this game, and war is great, and — whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?! They used a real church?! BLASPHEMY!”

The whole thing just seems a bit blown out of proportion to me. I’m sure Sony will apologize, because that’s proper PR. But I doubt a lawsuit will occur. This is just a big media show. And Sony certainly won’t pull the game from shelves. That would leave the PS3 with what, one other game? ZING! Hehe, I kid, I kid.

Also if you have a few free minutes, check this video out. It’s a pretty nice way to explain the global warming situation. I agree with the guy, frankly.

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