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Sony apologizes for featuring Manchester Cathedral in PlayStation 3 game

11 July, 2007

Sony Computer Entertainment of Japan has proffered “unreserved” apologies for having featured Manchester Cathedral in the United Kingdom in a violent computer game.

The computer giant acknowledged that it had offended worshippers by using the cathedral as a backdrop for the video game titled Resistance: Fall of Man. The game, in PlayStation 3, includes a virtual shootout between rival gunmen, with hundreds killed during a gun battle inside the cathedral.

David A Reeves, president of Sony Computer Entertainment, said Manchester Cathedral would never again be used in any of Sony’s video games.

The apology, issued via the Manchester Evening News, said Sony’s representatives recently met the Reverend Rogers Govender, Dean of Manchester Cathedral, and also the Reverend Canon Paul Denby.

A statement from David A Reeves read: “It is clear to us that the connection between the congregation and the cathedral is a deeply personal and spiritual one. As a result, it is also clear that we have offended some of the congregation by using the cathedral in our science-fiction game.”

“It was never our intention,” the statement continued, “to offend anyone in the making of this game, and we would like to apologize unreservedly to them for causing that offence, and to all parts of the wider community who we might also have been offended. Furthermore, we will ensure that Manchester Cathedral is never used as a setting in any future Sony Computer Entertainment video game.”

During the PlayStation 3 game, players are asked to assume the role of an army sergeant and win a battle.

The interior of the cathedral appears while the game is under way. The player’s gun appears ready to fight, while soldiers can be seen in the cathedral taking aim.

The Church of England had, before Sony’s apology, said in a statement: “We asked Sony to withdraw the game. They refused to do that. We asked
Sony to make a substantial donation to community groups nominated by the Cathedral. They refused to do that. We also asked them to sign up to the Sacred Digital Guidelines, which also they refused. We fear that the next buildings to be cloned for virtual desecration could be a mosque, synagogue, temple or other churches.”





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