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Saturday, June 16, 2007

The Church of England Owes Sony An Apology

The Church of England demanded that Sony apologize for using images of Manchester Cathedral in a video game. A church spokesman said, "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."

Actually, that sounds kind of fun to me. Anyhoo, Sony apologized, but the church is demanding that Sony withdraw the game, “Resistance: Fall of Man,” and give the church a big pile of money (to augment its existing $10 billion in assets).

I think that’s backwards. The Church of England should apologize to and pay Sony, not the other way around.

The church has previously slammed violent video games, saying they contribute to gun crimes in the UK, and video games in general for contributing to childhood obesity.

It's very possible that the church’s statements against Sony have cost the company real money, and damaged Sony's reputation, while it's doubtful that "Resistance: Fall of Man" cost the church any revenue or "customers" at all.

Unless the Church of England can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that 1) video games contribute to violence and obesity; 2) “Resistance: Fall of Man” has cost them money or other "business"; and 3) that God gives a damn about the use of their fancy buildings in video games, they should withdraw their demands against Sony, apologize to the company and pay damages for lost revenue immediately.

Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are absolutely correct.

Saturday, June 16, 2007 6:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Church of England: cake or death?

Saturday, June 16, 2007 10:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're wrong on this one, Mike. Why not just ask Sony to develop a training simulator for the next Virginia Tech shooter?

Sunday, June 17, 2007 4:31:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The CofE's assumption that players of this game are in any way aware of the fact that the map they're busy fragging aliens in is modelled on a real place means that - surprise - nobody in the CofE has ever played (or perhaps even seen) this game. Yet more evidence that religion is ridiculous. Perhaps I should complain to the CofE that there are erotic carvings in many of its places of worship, regardless of the fact that these carvings were part of the church's decorations at the time it was built.

Sunday, June 17, 2007 5:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Religion ridiculous? What a novel and "edgy" thought.

True, it is much easier to take the philosophy that nothing under the sun is sacred when one is seeking profit. But if you're playing the anti religion card (and make no mistake, that is the real issue here) no argument will dissuade you from your faith.

The Church of England's position would neither be changed nor enhanced by playing or even seeing the game. At worst, this is distasteful and perhaps dangerous. At best, it's unnecessary and not very nice. But, the publicity sure will plump up the bottom line, and that's what matters, right?

Remember your reasoning when the next shoot-em-up is portrayed at your local park or school.

Sunday, June 17, 2007 1:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you were very irresponsible in taking this slant. I am neither on the right nor do I hold any religious convictions. Wrong is wrong, and large corporations should not promote violence denigrating the very fiber of our society. Oh by the way, I am a gun owner.

Monday, June 18, 2007 10:11:00 AM  
Blogger mark said...

Right wing, deceitful and duplicitous - no, not the C of E, but Mike Elgan So now you don't agree with IP because it's the C of E rather than Sony who objects. OK then, lets develop a game where a murderous journo type sends porno email news letters under the guise of The Palm Reader, Palm News, Road Tricks, Portable Life News, Laptop Life, or BuzzWords et al with cartoon characters bearing an uncanny resemblance to your family members... you get the drift I'm sure?
You can't just pick and choose from anybody or anywhere when your lack of personal belief say it's ok to do so because you're having fun.
You are totally irresponsible and should be apologizing along with Sony.

Monday, June 18, 2007 2:17:00 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

***** You're wrong on this one, Mike. Why not just ask Sony to develop a training simulator for the next Virginia Tech shooter? *****

If video games contribute to violence, then we have science to determine that and democratic politics to regulate the sale of such games to minors, etc.

We don't need grown men in dresses wagging their fingers at us.

The church makes only a minor stink about video games and violence, but goes into spasms of apoplexy over the use of one of their buildings -- a historic landmark -- in a game.

Mike

Monday, June 18, 2007 3:52:00 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

***** nobody in the CofE has ever played (or perhaps even seen) this game. *****

And even more unlikely that players have been to church.

Mike

Monday, June 18, 2007 3:54:00 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

***** I think you were very irresponsible in taking this slant. I am neither on the right nor do I hold any religious convictions. Wrong is wrong, and large corporations should not promote violence denigrating the very fiber of our society. *****

The acceptability of violence in games is a perfectly letigimate issue, but not the one at hand.

Does anybody think it's a little weird that the Church of England, which owned a huge number of slaves more than two decades after the slave trade was ended by England, which has molested more boys that Michael Jackson, and comitted other crimes against humanity, is criticising a violent game maker not so much for the violence, but for using pictures of the churches paid for by slavery and in which unknown numbers of said molestations likely occurred.

The church was built on very real violence and as such is in no position to be criticising pretend violence.

Mike

Monday, June 18, 2007 4:01:00 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

***** You are totally irresponsible and should be apologizing along with Sony. *****

Not likely.

This isn't about intellectual property, but about whether church organizations who have put people outside their churches through the pains of forced conversions, slavery, racism, the Inquisition, 911, etc., etc., have the right to affect society beyond their walls.

My item about them apologizing to Sony is obviously tongue-in-cheeck, but the point behind it is pretty serious.

Should they be allowed to do to Sony and other companies what they do to the choir boys? I think not.

Mike

Monday, June 18, 2007 4:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seems pretty clear-cut to me. Sony is profiting from images of a building owned by the CoE. If there is legal precedent in the UK of the CoE prosecuting the sale of photographs or drawings of its buildings then Sony should follow the same rules.

If, on the other hand, the CoE doesn't care about these other mediums and is simply using this as a pulpit from which to preach that violent video games are the root of all evil it's too bad a countersuit to expose the lunacy would be PR suicide for Sony. So, anyone have any examples of the CoE getting upset over profiting off photographs or paintings?

Monday, June 18, 2007 5:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

C'mon guys, this is a business decision, and the CofE is simply pursuing one of it's legal avenues. They're simply playing the rulebook here, and they have every right to do so.

Now, criticize them on other issues if you feel you must, but the church does NOT hold slaves today. Also, would you condemn an entire company, or branch of government, if an employee of said entity was a child molester? Should the company punish the employee for evils outside of the workplace? Come to think of it, they usually do, even though, technically; try to get your job back after the trial.

Sorry Mike, you're wrong here. CofE is totally OK here. Of course, Sony has every right to flip them the bird and keep on selling the game.

Monday, June 18, 2007 6:03:00 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

The COE has a right to complain, but SONY also has a right to ignore them.

To actually link any actual violence with a video game is ludicrous at best. The game is about aliens infesting our planet for pete's sake!

As a christian (unaffliated with any religious organization) I am often annoyed with groups that want to be seen as righteous and Christ centered, but spend way too much of their time acting like businesses.

Keep calling it like it is, Mike.

Monday, June 18, 2007 9:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Church needs to solve their own problems first. They shouldn't tell me how to raise my kids when they don't have their own. maybe they need to stop suppressing human emotions and let their priests and nuns have a life. Priests sexually abusing kids is much worse than video game violence.

Monday, June 18, 2007 11:26:00 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

***** Sony is profiting from images of a building owned by the CoE. *****

If that's the case, then they should sue. The case would probably center around the idea that the buildings are national and historic landmarks -- or not. Whatever. Fight it out in court.

Courts have jurisdiction here. The Church of England has no jurisdiction on its own over Japanese gadget makers.

Mike

Tuesday, June 19, 2007 4:43:00 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

***** CofE is simply pursuing one of it's legal avenues. They're simply playing the rulebook here, and they have every right to do so. *****

What rulebook is that. They're basing their criticism on a moral, rather than a legal, basis. And my argument is that they have no moral basis.

If they think they have a case, then they should pursue that.

Mike

Tuesday, June 19, 2007 4:46:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blasphemy is blasphemy, Sony could have easily picked a castle or a cave or some other venue for their game. Why a church? Even if you are a non-believer, there are many people who hold their beliefs and churches dearly. What point is it to offend them? Yes, there are worse things in the world, but this is rather poor taste on Sony's part, and they could have picked some other place, there a lots of nice old castles and keeps in England they could have choosen from. Anyway....Christianity, as Europeans know it, is doomed due to their complicity. And Christianiy has been an integral part of our Western Culture. This Sony thing is just a symptom, not a cause......

Wednesday, June 20, 2007 7:00:00 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

***** Blasphemy is blasphemy, Sony could have easily picked a castle or a cave or some other venue for their game. Why a church? *****

Why NOT a church?

Why should religions get special treatment? The suggestion is that you can use any building EXCEPT a church. Why? It's just a building. Further, it's a building paid for by slavery, the suffering of the poor and the British taxpayer, among others.

After all their crimes against humanity, why do we all still tip-toe around the absurd sensitivities of the religious powers? It's a *building* made out of the same stuff as other buildings. Sony didn't do anything to the actual building, didn't interrupt mass or whatever, and didn't do anything to affect the Church of Englands massive income.

On the other hand, the rich and powerful men who use the Church of England organization to give themselves so much power over so many people have used their power to damage Sony, which is merely supplying people with entertainment they clearly want.

Mike

Wednesday, June 20, 2007 7:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Gary said...

***** We don't need grown men in dresses wagging their fingers at us.

The church makes only a minor stink about video games and violence, but goes into spasms of apoplexy over the use of one of their buildings -- a historic landmark -- in a game. *****

"Dresses" or not, whether we "need" it or not, they have every right to express their opinion -- just as we do.

The "church" has long been a critic of the violence in our culture. This episode received some ink because, let's face it, it's an interesting new slant on an old argument.

***** Should they be allowed to do to Sony and other companies what they do to the choir boys? I think not. *****

Wow. I don't know what to say about this and other lines of reasoning you've put forth here, other than it sounds like no one is ever going to convince you there is any value or moral standing to religious faith.

It's too bad you feel that way, but as a long-time fan of yours, I'll just agree to disagree and promise to keep reading.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007 10:46:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike, were you molested by a minister when you were just a lad? Your words on religion are full or hatred and scorn. Not all miniters and churches are bad. It has been churches in Europe that preserved writing and education for the West, and worldwide it is churches and their people that have set up orphanages, shelters for the homeless, soup-kitchens for the hunger...etc.etc... Churches should be treated with reverence and dignity. It's the House of God, and should be treated as such. And, I still like your column, so I agree with Gary...agree to disagree.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007 2:12:00 PM  
Blogger Andrew said...

Cake or death? Well, we're out of cake! We only had three bits and we didn't expect such a rush. So what do you want?

Wednesday, June 20, 2007 7:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Aaron P said...

I do side on the opinion this is ridiculous and shows how the world is filled with a bunch of sheep.

What needs to happen is what the GTA series did. CHANGE THE NAME OF THE CITY AND DON'T IDENTIFY LANDMARKS. So, I guess the future of simulated reality won't be happening because frivolous lawsuits/objections will take place. I didn't see any ruckus over the scene in Resident Evil 2 of Milla Jovovich in "Raccoon City" shooting up things in the "Church". Let this all be a lesson to you game designers, reality just brings trouble! /sarcasm

Thursday, June 21, 2007 8:41:00 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

THE church is aware that we payed 600.00$ for these cursed PS3s

Friday, June 22, 2007 1:50:00 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

***** THE church is aware that we payed 600.00$ for these cursed PS3s *****

It's a sin.

Mike

Friday, June 22, 2007 4:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, "It's a Sin!" is a song by The Pet Shop Boys. Paying 600 bucks for a PS3 is getting screwed, royally that is....

Saturday, June 23, 2007 8:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Was the church going to sue with one of those 'accident help line' No win, No fee?

If the church reckons this is out of order, then it just reinforces that their values are no longer relevant in modern society.

Religion has caused more wars and death than anything else.

Spoken like a true atheist.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007 10:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Martin said...

Mike,

I share your opinion on this, after all, if it weren’t for this video game, how else would we know what this beautiful place of worship would look like? Personally I think that Sony is helping the church by promoting the ancient and classic architecture along with beliefs that were spawned over a thousand years ago. Think of it as a macabre advert so that maybe a gamer like myself would elect to take a trip to see the actual building someday? I like architecture, not necessarily religious beliefs, however.

The church owes Sony a little bit of money for their blatantly open advertisement of a beautiful place; however something tells me that Sony will gladly give out the free press on this.

Boo hoo, if you don’t like the game, don’t play it, don’t buy it, and those of us who are a little more enthralled by playing a darker, yet more meaningful game, aren’t just satisfied with q-Bert and Pac-man :)

I think that if anything would prove the existence of a higher power, that the invention of a little respect for others wishes without bludgeoning them with left or right winged closed minded, bible bashing, witch burning, hypocrites.

Now you know what new video game your little boy wants for Christmas. That and an end to tight-assed morality with an allowance for a little creativity of their own.


:)]

Monday, October 08, 2007 4:49:00 PM  

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