I must say, this is absolutely ridiculous. For one, surely the Church Of England would have heard about this long before now. It's the Church of England for god's sake. They must be short on cash or something because there's no way they only just found out.
The whole thing is pretty ridiculous. I've no doubt Sony and Insomniac would have made certain they were legally able to present the cathedral and its interior before they did so, so any legal action taken against them will probably ammount to nothing.
The Church takes the following stance, 'For many young people these games offer a different sort of reality'. Or as we usually like to call it: Fantasy. They go on to say, 'Every year we invite hundreds of teenagers to come and see the cathedral and it is a shame to have Sony undermining our work'. I'm pretty sure that that was in no way Sony's intention. Are people's minds really going to be so horribly warped by their experience of Resistance that they'll go to the cathedral and start shooting the place up? I seriously doubt it. Plus let's not forget this game is rated M, and anyone under the age of 17 shouldn't be playing it anyway.
Manchester's gun crime problem is also brought up. 'We know the reality of gun crime and the devastating effects it can have on lives. It is not a trivial matter'. I completely agree: gun crime is not a trivial matter, but to associate the use of a cathedral in-game to the horrors of gun crime is a bit of a leap in judgement. Sony retorted, saying the game is set, 'in an alternate and mythical version of Europe in the 1950s, in which the enemy are strange-looking alien invaders seeking to destroy humanity...It is entertainment, like Doctor Who or any other science fiction. It is not based on reality at all.' Precisely. It's an M rated game. Surely anyone over the age limit is able to distinguish between reality and the obvious fantasy that is represented here. If they can't then they really shouldn't be playing games in the first place.
To play devil's advocate, you can see that it could be considered distasteful to allow players to shoot each other up inside a church. If the same thing was done with a school in a mainstream game there would be uproar. Bringing gun crime into the argument and saying Sony are undermining the work of the church though? Maybe taking it a step too far. Encouraging gunplay on holy ground was clearly not Sony's intention. They were simply trying to make a fun and immersive game. On top of this, why has Resistance been singled out? As a friend of mine pointed out there are churches in plenty of other games, particularly in WW2 games. Shall we ban/remove every single recognisable landmark from previously released video games? You can drive past Big Ben in PGR3 at 200mph. Should this be banned for creating a joy-riding problem in Britain? The answer is a simple no, and I doubt anyone would bring it up. Just as players would see the clear distinction between reality and virtual reality in PGR3, they will see it in Resistance. Even more so. There are no aliens in PGR3.
So yeah, as would be expected, I completely side with Sony on this one. It's a ridiculous concept, to remove the game from shelves simply because it displays a representation of a building (which looks awesome by the way). The only thing Sony should be sorry for here is releasing such a boring and generic FPS.