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The Anglican Church vs Sony
Wednesday, 20th June, 2007 Posted by Beren @ 19:04:21

Over the last week or so there have been plenty of coverage in the main stream press about the Playstation 3 game ‘Resistance Fall of Man’, and the fact that in part of the game a fight scene takes place in Manchester Cathedral. Now I won’t go in to many of the details as I am sure most people have heard about it, but basically the character in typical first person shooter style defends earth from alien invaders by shooting them; and in one level this takes place in the cathedral.

The problem being that Insominac (the Game Developer) and Sony did not get permission to model the level on the Cathedral. Further, Manchester has a gun problem, thus the Anglican Church is complaining that it is negative influence in a community with a gun problem, having such a scene set in one of their landmarks. And as such are now suing Sony.

Now, obviously in this situation it would have been far better for Sony to have got the full okay (which they have said they believed they had) to model a level after a building someone else owns. However, as to the rest of the situation, I do really find it a bit of a stretch. Studies have shown that games don’t actually drive people to go and shoot people, further that if anything movies might have more influence (although again its negligible, and really isn’t a causal factor). And yet where was the Anglican Church when films have been shot in their churches? Scenes set in churches in movies are extremely common, and this is no different for action films. The only difference that I can see here is that to film in a church is something you physically can’t do without letting them know you’re doing it. Whereas modelling a level in a computer game can be done without the priests and church members being aware.

As such, from what I can tell about this situation, and from what I have heard others say. This whole situation has the appearance of an Anglican Church pencil pusher trying to get publicity and probably money in a way that seems to reek of hypocrisy. Where were these Anglicans caring about public perception of the church while they were literally pimping out Westminster Abby (to Sony no less) for the anti-Christian thriller Da Vinci Code? I personally relished the opportunity to see a film with Christian (albeit anti-christian) themes with non-christian friends to chat about the content. But the bulk of the Church around the globe was publicly voicing opinions against the film while Anglican Church in England was lining its pockets with Sony’s money. At least with Resistance Fall of Man it is trying to be a work of Science Fiction, and not trying to portray history incorrectly in a way that takes away from Christ.

In this instance I think the best thing the Anglican Church can do is try to help the people of Manchester by ministering to them. Not trying to use them as an excuse to wrangle money out of a large corporation.

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