The Church of England has threatened to sue Sony, the makers of Resistance: Fall of Man, over their use of the interior of Manchester Cathedral as a game level (apparently, the outside has been blown to bits). Set in a post-apocalyptic world, Resistance is a first-person shooter with tons of guns and video game violence that moral, upstanding folks usually object to. Church of England claims this is a violation of their copyrights (in the building, though these must have expired by now...it is pretty old) and trademarks (would any one really believe that the Church endorsed this game?), but seems to be mostly based on an equity argument (this is just morally wrong...give us an injunction). The Very Reverend Rogers Govender claimed that the game was undermining the work of the church by promoting violence and using holy places as battlegrounds.
I killed 14 of my friends in Manchester Cathedral online; it was my best game ever!
Normally the whining of the older generation about violent video games doesn't phase me much, but this particular instance does seem a bit different. Is nothing sacred any more? Once again, I suppose that is for the courts to decide. Although I do agree with Aleks Krotoski: if the church wins, do video games always have to get permission from building owners to use their buildings in games? How close the building have to actually be? What if Dan Brown had to get the permission of the church to set a Da Vinci Code scene at the Vatican - after all, he was sending a message that undermined the church.
Fall of Man, Fall of Man...clearly sinful