The separation of Church and Games?

In an interesting article over on CNN it seems the Manchester Cathedral was the site of an outstanding gun battle in the game Resistance: Fall of Man. The church is demanding a patch be created to remove the visual of the inside of the cathedral in the blood bath that takes place in it, as well as an “unspecified” large donation to the church.

The Church of England says Sony did not seek permission to use the Manchester Cathedral in the game, and is demanding an apology and a large donation to be used in its work with young people.

The Church has weak legal legs to stand on here. It’s not as if they went into the church and filmed a live action movie. They just had some photographers take some high resolution pictures of the interior and exterior and then had some modeling and texturing artists build the cathedral from the ground up virtually.

The Church has yet to receive contact from Sony since the matter was first raised on Friday.

Sony’s legal department seems to be mulling over the complaint and list of demands, but even I have to note that this likely wouldn’t hold water in an American court, however this is in the EU. I was unable to find any specific law that might give the church leverage to sue Sony for the depiction of the Cathedral in the game, but who knows, lawsuits don't necessarily need to make any sense these days.

Apparently there was another instance of this with the Rainbow Six: Vegas release. The Las Vegas governor didn't like that his city was featured. Long and the short of it being that they complained, but the game was released on time and on target. Afterall as Ubisoft stated, these games are all stories, they are fiction, and should be treated no different than a fiction book or film.

On that note however, should owners, officials or builders of public establishments be allowed to demand royalties for public locations and buildings that are used in countless games and movies?

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