Insomniac's sci-fi FPS Resistance: Fall of Man may have missed out on a couple of hard-fought nominations at last night's BAFTA awards, but it can finally go to sleep at night with a clear conscience. The Church of England -- after a long and tempestuous relationship -- has at last deigned to publicly forgive Sony for turning the in-game representation of Manchester Cathedral into a digital bloodbath.
The BBC reports the Very Reverend Rogers Govender, Dean of Manchester Cathedral, waited until Resistance had failed to clinch any BAFTA awards before issuing the benediction.
"I think some important lessons have been learnt," spoke the Reverend. "So we do forgive Sony for what they have done, even though they still believe they have done nothing wrong. In an industry that is breaking new frontiers, it is important that long held traditions of film and television are maintained," he said.
"These traditions include having courtesy, respecting the dignity of your subject, and admitting when mistakes have been made. In so many ways Sony have failed to live up to these standards by disrespecting people of faith and the victims of gun crime here in Manchester."
You might recall that Resistance (and Sony) drew harsh criticism from the Church of England after the company incorporated an extremely lifelike model of the real-world-and-currently-active cathedral into their level design. he Church, as it turns out, objects strongly to the irreverent use of holy ground as a staging place for virtual battles. Back in July, lawyers representing the Church actually went as far as sending a letter to Sony, demanding the company make a formal apology and pull the game from store shelves in the UK.
A few days later the Church upped the ante, requesting that Sony contribute a "substantial donation" to its coffers, to be used in furthering the church's efforts at "resisting the culture of gun crime and other forms of violence in our society."
For its part, Sony never openly acknowledged there is anything wrong with Machester Cathedral's appearance in Resistence. The game remains on shelves in its original state, and the company never did get around to knuckling under to the Church's legal threats or paying anybody for the privilege -- though they have openly acknowledged the seriousness of the Church's critique on multiple occasions.
Judging from the Reverend's comments, it seems the Church may not have given up all hope on getting a formal apology out of Sony. Absolution, as the Reverend would no doubt remind us, requires both the act of confession and a sense of genuine repentance -- neither of which seem forthcoming anytime soon.