Church of England Wants Japanese People to Pressure Sony; Tony Blair Jumps Into Dispute

The Church of England, embroiled in a dispute with Sony over the inclusion of Manchester Cathedral in PS3 hit Resistance: Fall of Man, has turned to the people of Japan for support. As reported by the Associated Press, the Very Rev. Rogers Govender, dean of Manchester Cathedral, said yesterday:

For a global manufacturer to recreate the interior of any religious building such as a mosque, synagogue, or in this case, a cathedral, with photo realistic quality and then encourage people to have gun battles in the building is beyond belief and in our view highly irresponsible.

Today I want to appeal directly to the people of Japan to help us put pressure on Sony to respond. So I speak directly to those citizens who share our concerns.

Meanwhile, Sony said that it has begun talks with the CoE over the issue, but Govender disputed that account:

We believe a silent response on the issue is not acceptable behavior.

Prime Minister Tony Blair (left) has also jumped into the fray. During a briefing in the House of Commons, Blair said:

It is important that any of the companies who are engaged in promoting this type of goods have some sense of responsibility and also some sensitivity to the feelings of others. It’s important that people understand there is a wider social responsibility as well as simply responsibility for profit.

Meanwhile, Sony rep Nanako Kato said that while Sony takes the issue seriously, but noted historic buildings are often used in entertainment. She cited movie scenes featuring Godzilla and the Tokyo Tower and King Kong in Manhattan.

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  1. 0
    bobby bill says:

    Everyone keeps going on about how we make games with tokyo and japanese landmarks getting destroyed in ww2. Well has everyone forgotten that japan attacked and invaded large amounts of asia and froced are soldiers to work as slaves?! Before murdering them! They deserve to get to watch their own landmarks destroyed. But what has the church of England ever done to them? When they have done so much to other people.

  2. 0

    […] Resistance: Fall of Man (2007) – When religious leaders at Manchester Cathedral learned that PS3 launch title Resistance: Fall of Man included a level based on the interior of the house of worship they demanded a recall, drawing a dubious linkage between Resistance and local gun violence in Manchester. The story made international headlines and earned criticism from then-Prime Minister Tony Blair and Parliament. Sony issued an apology, but officials still aren’t satisfied. […]

  3. 0
    Vinzent says:

    I think the biggest problem I have with this story is that the church asked for monetary compensation right up front. Okay, so they had a problem with the church being used in a violent game, I can believe that. At most they are owed a public apology.

    But they wanted money too. It’s hard to take someone’s feelings seriously when they have a price list too. Especially a group that’s supposed to be above such concerns.

  4. 0
    Korrd says:

    @ Zeloth
    “‘Christianity has increased, but it is probably still felt to be a foreign religion by many Japanese.'”
    Your tangent on religion isn’t entirely relevent to the subject at hand, so I’m a little confused as to what point you seem intent on proving. The links and excerpts you’ve posted have little to do with this story. It seems you’re attempting to demonize Christianity, as though to somehow prove the CoE is in the wrong. I would argue that this is not the place for your anti-Christian agenda.

    “Also, how are fighting aliens mocking?”
    I’m not sure if you intentionally missed the point or it was due to inteptitude, but it wasn’t about aliens. Scumbag was illustrating the lack of respect. Manchester Cathedral, as well as his stated example of the Kaaba, are highly revered sites. To treat them with such disrespect is an affront to some people’s sensibilities.

    Other people don’t care. I personally wouldn’t have a problem with either depiction, really, but it’s different for people who feel a close bond with the location in question, and it would have been nice to see a modicum of sensitivity to that reverence from the game’s designers. I understand the desire to tie the game to the real world, but they could easily have used a similar, yet fictional cathedral and sacrificed little.

    @ kurisu7885
    I agree that the cathedral was not likely included to make light of Manchester’s gun crime problem. I’m certain it was used simply because it’s a well known landmark, but even though I am neither from the UK nor Christian, I can respect that some people don’t appreciate the context.

    As much as the inclusion of Manchester Cathedral doesn’t affect me (because 1) I’ve never been there, and 2) I’ll never play the game), I can’t help but draw comparisons to question my reaction. For example, how many Americans would be similarly upset if a game depicted a gun battle in Arlington National Cemetery?

  5. 0
    crispyfritters says:

    Ken kutaragi probably printed copies of that letter so that he could wipe his ass with them. Seriously, they dont have to do squat in this considering they didnt break the law in any way I can see.

    And also, I thought Blair would be gone by now. When does he get out of office again?

  6. 0
    PHOENIXZERO ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Difference between famous buildings in New York City and the Manchester Cathedral is that on is an ancient, historical landmark and pretty much public domain. While the other isn’t except for maybe the Statue of Liberty and bridges.

  7. 0
    kurisu7885 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @A Limey Scumbag

    Look, I highly, highly doubt Insomniac, not Sony, Insomniac games looked into Manchester’s history of gun crime and went “Hey now what’d be funny?”

    This is entirely a non issue. By your logic the Empire State building should be removed from all games taking place in NYC, the great pyramids should be removed from any games taking place in Egypt, and any and all Buddhist statuues should be removed from games that take place in China

  8. 0
    Matthew ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I agree with the trolls.

    I personally am fine with the idea of using a church as a setting for an FPS. Remember the school-modeled-in-Counterstrike fiasco? That was OK, right? If it’s morally OK to play a game in which you run around a realistic school schooting human opponents, then it’s surely OK to run around a realistic church shooting aliens. Before anyone jumps in there and says that the CS schools are third party content, I’m talking morally. It matters not to the player who made the level, and whether something is appropriate shouldn’t depend on who created it.

    So, playing with fake guns in a realistic-but-fake church is fine by me. However, the designers made a game in which you shoot things in a realistic recreation of a holy site in a location struck by gun crime. They can’t possibly have thought that nobody would be offended.

  9. 0
    Zeloth says:

    @A Limey Scumbag
    I wouldn’t care if a game was made where you crash into the WTC, in fact, you CAN in one of Microsoft’s older flight sims. As for a V-tech game, I would mind a bit, not for the content but for the time. If it were to be made in a few years it might be taken better, not now though.

    Also, how are fighting aliens mocking? They came to a new world and tried to kill it’s current inhabitants so they could claim it, sounds familiar…hmm, didn’t this happen in the 1600s? Replace aliens with Christians and reduce the humans down to 1 race, Native Americans.

  10. 0
    Zeloth says:

    Sigh, I figured this kind of junk would come up so I’ll just revise my argument.

    “Christianity has increased, but it is probably still felt to be a foreign religion by many Japanese. The increase in interest has not added greatly to the Christian base in Japan, probably due to the fact that the belief is in one God, thus eliminating the relaxed polytheism of Shinto and Japanese Buddhism.”
    taken from

    Different beliefs may not be a bit unreasonable basis for not helping but it’s been done for a lot less.

    Also, if you’re wondering why I post the links;
    To plagiarize is to take and use another person’s thoughts, writings or inventions as one’s own, without acknowledging or giving the source of the ideas and expressions.

  11. 0
    A Limey Scumbag says:

    This isn’t directly related to the Japanese intervention, but nonetheless it is directed at the issue as a whole.

    There are two things Americans probably won’t understand about this whole thing.

    1) Unlike in America, in the UK, because we have decent gun control measures, gun crime is incredibly rare, and unfortunately Manchester has become a hotbed of gun crime in the last decade or so. There are thousands of families in Manchester who have been affected by gun crime and just because thousands of people get shot in America every day doesn’t make it right. Just because it is aliens getting shot doesn’t make it any less sensitive. Just to use a slightly hyperbolic example, how would Americans feel if the Brits made a game where you have to crash a plane into a building modelled on the WTC that is filled with aliens instead of hapless humans? Or a game where you play a disgruntled Asian student and go through a college modelled on Virginia Tech locking aliens in classrooms and killing them?

    2) The designers have taken one of the most revered and holy sites regarded by the Church of England and have turned it into a mockery without even asking the CoE. Could you imagine what would happen if a game designer decided to set a game in Mecca and have the player crawling all over the Kaaba (the holiest site in Islam) while shooting aliens down? Exactly, so the designer wouldn’t do it. Therefore, I fail to see how the designer feels that just because he doesn’t fear that he is going to get bombed by fanatics that he has the right to do this.

  12. 0
    Korrd says:

    @ Zeloth
    Okay, that’s a stretch. So you’re saying that Buddhists in Japan should hold Christians in England responsible for the actions of some ignorant fanatics in Korea? It seems like you’re implying that the behavior of those Korean Christians are representative of all Christians worldwide.

    By that reasoning, do you also believe that all Muslims are terrorists?

  13. 0
    Zeloth says:

    The quote is from the link and gives credence to my earlier comment that Weatherlight contested . Why help those who are persecuting others of your religion?

  14. 0
    Korrd says:

    If Sony does indeed owe the CoE for the rights to depict the cathedral, fine. This move to turn the people of Japan against Sony, though? Lame. And decidedly ineffective, I should think.

    @ Zeloth
    What does that link have to do with this story?

  15. 0
    Vinzent says:

    @ Gameboy: I worked on Spider-Man 3 and 2 video games. Believe me, we had to get permissions to use famous buildings (usually had to pay for the rights). If Sony did not get the proper permissions, they could be sued.

    On the other hand, it’s likely that Sony did get permissions, but Church of England didn’t know there would be shooting in the cathedral. Maybe they thought it would be a game about puppies and rainbows.

  16. 0
    Zeloth says:

    Japan has a Christian population of 7 tenths (0.7%) of their total population, what makes them think the dominant Shinto and Buddhists (84%) give a damn?

  17. 0
    William says:

    instead of wasting our time commenting here on this website about the stupidity of this case i would very strongly urge everyone to send a message of complaint to
    i did my research and this seems to be at least one of the email addresses that can contact the Manchester diocese. I strongly urge people to send well written and balanced messages not stupid messages of hate as this will not help only make matters worse. This is not about Sony getting hit its about our right to play video games and being sick of conservative religious organization speaking about things they have no idea about and trying to stir up hatred and alienating people.

  18. 0
    Grahamr ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    Sony should take this fight to the courts and win. The Church doesn’t have a case.

    However….they could turn the tides by asking the Hellsing Organization to decimate sony.

  19. 0
    JC says:

    This sums up to nothing but “noise” to me.
    They are like a spoiled brat from these moves, just wanting attention for something that doesn’t add up.
    No one cares for Blair, at least none of the British friends I knew. They said Blair was worse than Bush, and that was years ago; I’m pretty sure a stain like that sticks to you for life.

    So why do people give him attention? He must’ve noticed their agenda “get attention” and thought he’d jump on the bandwagon (or lil yellow school bus).

  20. 0
    V-22 Osprey says:

    Black Manta said:

    How many times in daikaiju films have we seen Tokyo get destroyed over and over again?

    In one of the Gojira flicks from the ’90s, the building that is the center of the Japanese IRS is destroyed, which lead to standing ovations during screenings. :)

  21. 0
    Weatherlight ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    This is the church of england we are talking about, this is why people argue about separation of church and state so often. So, who has some pictures of the churches interior, I have been aching to give hammer a try. 😀

  22. 0
    Father Time ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Wait a minute let me get this straight

    The church of england wants Japan to fight their battles for them? They’re too cowrdly to do it themselves? WIMPS! Maybe someone should take a gun to the cathedral, oh wait i just happen to resistance to me, pity there are no humans to shoot at.

  23. 0
    Dexee ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    You might want to add Planet of the Apes (old and new).

    You guys have virtually little to no legal standing. If you claim that the game recreated the entire bloody building, SHOW US SOME COMPARISON SHOTS.

  24. 0
    IanC ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    We believe a silent response on the issue is not acceptable behavior.
    Rather, you want a big stink tto be made in the hope it will stop people using public buildings in entertainment in future.
    Or should i just say video games, not general entertainment?

  25. 0
    Gameboy says:

    According to these people we are no longer allowed to use famous locations in any form of entertainment? So we’re gonna have to edit the films Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow, Kingdom of Heaven, and the Spider Man films. They have of shots of famous buildings or are set in famous locations. And that was just pulling a few out of thin air.

  26. 0
    Kentonio ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Technically not for another 13 days.

    Bear in mind incidentally, that Blair is also a dedicated christian, and has drawn on the church for support in the past.

  27. 0
    Black Manta ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Touche, Kato-San! :)

    Great point. How many times in daikaiju films have we seen Tokyo get destroyed over and over again? If the Japanese don’t have a problem with seeing their own landmarks getting destroyed neither should anyone else over their own respective landmarks.

    I find it a bit underhanded that Govender is trying to go as far as to try and get the Jpanese people to pressue Sony. It ain’t gonna happen though. As was pointed out, they have a different mindset about this thing.

    Didn’t Tony Blair already step down as Prime Minister? So shouldn’t that read former Prime Minister?

  28. 0
    Brokenscope ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    Most WW2 games are set in the European Theaters, few come to mind where your fighting in the pacific.

    Blairs answer to the initial questioning seemed like a very meh response. Almost like “oh god, I hate having to be so damned polite when they bring up stupid shit like this.”

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