Church of England demands apology from Sony

The Church of England wants Sony to apologize for including one of its churches as a scene in one of the company's first-person shooter games

The Church of England is calling on Sony Computer Entertainment to apologize for using one of its churches as the scene for a gory firefight in its PlayStation 3 game "Resistance -- Fall of Man."

The game includes a digital rendering of the inside of England's Manchester Cathedral, which was first constructed in 1215. The church is also asking Sony to remove the cathedral from the game, and to make a donation to people working with victims of gun crime in Manchester, a city that has its share of gun violence.

The church will allow the use of its cathedral for certain entertainment purposes so long as permission is granted first. For example, production companies can film inside the church so long as the church approves of the projects, said David Marshall, director of communications for Manchester Cathedral.

Sony did not ask permission, according to Marshall. "We think it's the first time a sacred space has been digitally captured and recreated for a game such as this," Marshall said.

A Sony spokesman said on Monday that the company would contact the church. Marshall said the church had contacted Sony on Friday and would also be sending the company a letter.

A clip of the scene in question is posted on YouTube.com, where the player is seen shooting throughout the interior of the church.

Sony's Web site for the game, which is supposed to only be viewed by those over 18 years old, warns of "strong language and images of violence."

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Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service

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