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Discussion:

Is the Cathedral fair game?

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Message 1 - posted by manc-host1, Jun 9, 2007

Manchester Cathedral has found itself at the centre of a cyber-row after the Bishop of Manchester spoke out against video games giant Sony’s use of the building as a virtual backdrop for a gun battle in a computer game.

Read the full story on BBC News>>>
news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/...

Is it, as the Bishop says, "highly irresponsible" or have the games firm done nothing wrong? Should Sony do as the Church asks, withdraw the game and issue an apology or should the Church simply accept that, as Sony put it, "it is not based on reality at all" and that in the cyber world, all locations are fair game?
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Message 2 - posted by U2379384 - alt id 3, Jun 9, 2007

Anywhere is fair game.

By the way there isn't actually a God.
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Message 3 - posted by GrumpyOldGit, Jun 9, 2007

I can't really see as the Chruch has got much to complain about - perhaps they just need a bit of help with a leaky roof.

Does the game actually identify Manchester Cathedral, or has the Church shot itself in the foot?
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Message 4 - posted by GrumpyOldGit, Jun 9, 2007

... or should the Church simply accept that, as Sony put it, "it is not based on reality at all" ...

Quoted from this message


I missed this the first time I read it - I think the Church already know they're not based on reality! <laugh>
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Message 5, Jun 9, 2007

This posting has been hidden during moderation because it broke the House Rules in some way.
      

Message 6 - posted by Not_such_an_avid_reader, Jun 9, 2007

I guess the next step is for the church authorities to get the Sound of Music banned. Fancy using a monastery and nuns in a film.
However, more seriously, I see that Patsy McKie from Mothers Against Violence, whose son Dorrie was killed in Manchester, said it was time to stand up to the makers of violent games.
The government should step in to ban the games, wherever they are depicting.
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Message 7 - posted by GrumpyOldGit, Jun 9, 2007

Do violent games cause volience on the street, or are they a way to vent real aggression in a virtual world, thereby reducing it?

I suspect there's a bit of truth in both, so by banning these games all you'll be doing is moving the real-life violence from one set of victims to another.
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Message 8 - posted by PlainAshington, Jun 9, 2007

The people that made the game aren't exactly a two bit organisation that haven't done their market research.

Care to guesstimate how much free advertising they are getting from the Church?
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Message 9 - posted by bletherbag, Jun 9, 2007

I'm not sure a ban is likely, games industry is huge and while I don't condone violence, not everyone playing these games is inclined to go out and commit a murder. I really not sure what the solution might be
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Message 10 - posted by iapetus2k2, Jun 10, 2007

Let's clear a few things up. Firstly, the game in question is being misrepresented grossly by the BBC and other coverage. It is not a gun battle between rival groups - the enemies in question are mostly two-foot-tall alien facehugger creatures. If the game encourages the people of Manchester to take up arms against aggressive invading aliens then... well, is that really a bad thing? As far as I know, Manchester isn't a famous centre of gun crime against visitors from another planet. You have to look to the southern parts of the US for that.

Secondly, the game is set in a World War II styled setting. Last time I checked, the real World War II impacted the cathedral quite significantly (you can see the details on their website), so it's no stretch to believe that a fictional World War II in which Britain is invaded would do so as well.

Thirdly, I fail to see what permissions were required. The design of the cathedral was largely finalised in the late 1600s according to their own website - even Disney don't try to claim copyrights from that far back.

Finally, I'm shocked by the hypocrisy of the Bishop of Manchester. He doesn't want this sort of violence associated with the church? Then let me say this to him:

Genesis 7:19-23, Genesis 19:24-25, Exodus 9:23-25, Exodus 12:29-30, Exodus 14:28-30, Joshua 10:10-11, Judges 4:15-16, 2 Kings 17:25
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Message 11 - posted by Milambar, Jun 10, 2007

I suspect that this case is less to do with moral outrage, failure to seek permission, or whatever else the CoE is claiming, or will try to claim..

And more to do with wanting a several million pound kiss-off from Sony.

You watch, first they will demand the removal of the game from the market, their lawyers will "discuss" this for several weeks, the CoE will back down a little, Sony will offer them £*M, the CoE will accept, and everyone will be friends again.
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Message 12 - posted by pariscombie, Jun 10, 2007

The amazing thing about this story is is that neither the BBC or Manchester Cathedral have played the game because its clear in there comments they are making something up on what they have seem or possibly head.

Resistance Fall of Man is an alternate reality where World of War didn't happen, It is set in the 1950's where an alien invasion that started in Russia sweeps over Europe and into the UK.

The scene is question is when the main character is trying to seek refuge in the church but, the alien invaders are already there so you have to fight to escape.

Amazing thing is the games been out for many months, both in the US and Europe so I am puzzled why this is such big news now?

I suggest the BBC research there storys before putting out biased news storys, or do you want to turn into a FOX News type group?
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Message 13 - posted by TeenGamer, Jun 10, 2007

Games should be able to be set anywhere some of the best games ever created have been about and set during WW2, do you ever hear the germans or french complain when (in the game) you liberate Caen, Bremen etc.

The church has no right to be angry over the use of its cathedral: the game is set in an ALTERNATE 1950s universe, where FICTIONAL aliens are attempting to destroy humanity, killing hundreds that you see in the game.

"it is not based on reality at all"

This game does not glamorise violence or guns as one politican put it as this is set during a fictional WAR, just with aliens as the enemies instead of the Nazis or Russians as in other games.
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Message 14 - posted by Lifeconcerned, Jun 10, 2007

The Bishop of Manchester is quite right to call out the offensive nature of Sonys use of the Cathedral in its video game. The creeping evil nature of some of the forms of this type of 'entertainment' must be of concern to every parent and offical who has responsibility for any aspect of childcare.

It encourages previously acceptable standards of behaviour and belief to be gradually whittled away almost to the point of being irrelevant. This is a dangerous and insiduous trend that some of those involved in both game creation and playing do not seem to be able to see.

Come on Sony, raise your head above the parapet here and take some form of responsibility, not only for the offensive nature of this particular game but also for the content of games in general. You have an opportunity here to lead the industry in constructive reform that could offer you competitive advantage in the marketplace for every present buying parent/aunt/uncle.

To the Right Reverend McCulloch, thank you for speaking out on this topic. Stand your ground! I am sure thousands of others are right behind you. Well done!



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Message 15 - posted by 3Dots, Jun 10, 2007

It is a computer game involving aliens made up from pixels projected onto a screen by a cathode ray tube or, a plasma screen or LCD dots.

It is not real.

It is not even targetting humans.

Once again, the 'moral majority' are missing the point. This is fiction...there is nothing wrong with blowing things up that are not real. In fact, it is a great way to remove any tension in the comfort of your living room. It is diamatrically opposed to what is happening on the streets of Manchester: people shooting at real people with real consequences.

The church should be highlighting the difference: in a computer game you can shoot something or get killed yourself and there are no consequences, whereas in real life there ARE consequences people get killed and lives ruined.

Most people can see the difference between fantasy and reality. Quite possibly we should be sitting down with the people who cannot see this difference and explain to them slowly what the difference is.

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Message 16 - posted by Not_such_an_avid_reader, Jun 10, 2007

Would it have been better for the Church if the violent action had been set in a Sainsburys Supermarket?
Ernest003
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Message 17 - posted by SaintMaryUK, Jun 10, 2007

I am a non-Christian but I have to say that I agree with the church on this, which doesn't happen very often!

In the society I want, where we all tolerate and respect one another's beliefs, Sony would ask the permission of (or at the very least consult with) any group of people to whom a building might be spiritually (or otherwise) important, before using its likeness in a way that may offend. It's common courtesy isn't it?

Not asking because you don't *have* to, especially when you know, if you're honest, what the answer would be, is just wrong IMHO.

I am not addressing here whether violent games should be around or not - that's a different issue. I simply think that in this case the game-writers could have set the scene in many places other than this to achieve an equally good result without causing offence. The fact that they chose not to says a lot about the people concerned, and it saddens me.

Mary.
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Message 18 - posted by cybernewsmaniac, Jun 10, 2007

Just on legal grounds I think the Cathedral is in the right, though it may cost a lot in legal fees to take this to court is Sony won't settle. Either video footage taken in the Cathedral has been used, and Sony is in breach of the licence granted to visitors to use short clips for purely private, non-commercial purposes, or the virtual tour on the Cathedral web site has been used, and Sony are in breach of copyright. I'm no a lawyer, but that's how it seems to me.
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Message 19 - posted by Johnw73, Jun 10, 2007

THe Catholic Church complaining about something trivial again to deflect from its own unwholemome activities.
Let he who is without sin......

I see you are a "blether" and it would appear a bigot as you have not taken the time to get the facts correct before you criticise the Catholic Church. If you look at the facts you will see that Manchester Cathedral belongs to the Church of England, and it is the Church of England that is complaininbg, and in my view, with justification!
This is another example of people showing their prejudice without having the facts!!
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Message 20 - posted by 3Dots, Jun 10, 2007

Considering the Chruch is a charity and supposedly their for all then I can't see why they can complain that one of 'God's' building is being used for something. If God was really annoyed shurely he would be sending thunder bolts and plagues of locusts against Sony.
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