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Tony Blair tells Sony off

Tony Blair tells Sony off

Tony Blair has openly critisized Sony for including Manchester Cathedral in Fall of Man for the PS3.

You may have heard about Sony's problem with the Church of England, which we covered in more detail earlier today as it seemed like things were a bit hopeless for the Church of England's legal battle.

The controversy has kicked off over the inclusion of Manchester Cathedral in the PS3 first person shooter, Resistance: Fall of Man, which the Church objects to. The Church has reportedly asked for a large donation and a public apology from Sony, in addition to having the game pulled from the shelves - despite the fact it has been on sale across the world since late last year and has already shipped a million copies.

Yet only a few hours ago a new player entered the field and told everyone what his opinion was. Normally that wouldn't have been very interesting, but in this case it was UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair.

At a weekly question time a member of parliament from Manchester asked the Prime Minister about his thoughts on the matter, especially given the high level of gun crime in Manchester.

Blair commented that Sony needs to be more sensitive and responsible and that large companies, such as Sony, should pause to think about more than just making profits. (handbags are drawn... - Ed.)

Sony has consistently refused to comment on the issue and has said only that they are liaising directly with the Church of England on the matter.

As usual, we'll be sure to keep you posted on the issue as it continues to evolve, but until then why not drop in the forums and debate whether or not the government should punish Sony for this. Given that the Church doesn't have a legal leg to stand on though, that might be hard.

25 Comments

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Jamie 13th June 2007, 16:51 Quote
Who?
identikit 13th June 2007, 16:52 Quote
Quote:
Blair commented that Sony needs to be more sensitive and responsible and that large companies, such as Sony, should pause to think about more than just making profits.
Yes because having a real church in the game has driven sales up. All this debate has actually given loads of promotion. Bad publicity is better than no publicity.

I've seen and played countless games with shootouts in churches and (omg) mosques. There should be no big deal over this.

Edit: hahahaha Jamie.
Paradigm Shifter 13th June 2007, 16:53 Quote
:)

Blair is leaving office soon anyway - whatever legitimacy he had before his announcement went right down the pan as soon as he started um-ing and ah-ing over when he was going to leave. He's leaving, and as such it really doesn't matter if he pisses off one more group of people.

Oh, yeah - typo:

"...which the Church objects too." - should be single 'o'. ;) Second paragraph.
plug_in_ross 13th June 2007, 16:59 Quote
Jesus ****ing Christ, this is getting really pathetic now.

If they're that bothered, can't they release some sort of Firmware update to change the name of 'Manchester' in the game itself?




I haven't played the game, nor have I ever been on a PS3, so I'm not entirely sure how it all 'works'.
whisperwolf 13th June 2007, 17:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by article
Given that the Church doesn't have a legal leg to stand on though, that might be hard.


Would that be according to your own law degree, your lawyers law degree? or the gamesindustry.biz article you quoted earlier? If it is even they had the sense to use the wording "It is likely there is no basis for a claim"

Anyway so far it’s looking more like a win win for both sides, Sony's gotten lots of advertising for its game, church has gotten lots of advertising for its anti-gun campaign. And in a week or so it will all be forgotten.

I have yet to work out if it is the Church of England complaining or the local Bishop and cathedral authorities
Paradigm Shifter 13th June 2007, 17:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by plug_in_ross
Jesus ****ing Christ, this is getting really pathetic now.
:)

Tony is really good at opening his mouth and inserting both feet. ;)
Buzzons 13th June 2007, 17:21 Quote
Surly if it is so life like etc in there, sony cgi people would have had to go in and take pics etc -- would they not have noticed this stuff???
Duste 13th June 2007, 17:24 Quote
Needs to learn to keep his mouth shut imo. :P
completemadness 13th June 2007, 17:28 Quote
Jeez tony, wtf do u know about this i mean jeez

Perhaps hes just trying to make sure that his legacy wont be remembered just for breaking up the whole country (note. Scotland's Independence)
<A88> 13th June 2007, 17:42 Quote
Kudos for the over-reaction guys :(.
It's not like he made a public statement about it- it was merely a question picked during PMQs this week, and an opinion I personally support.

<A88>
Omnituens 13th June 2007, 17:43 Quote
BANDWAGON, HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
mmorgue 13th June 2007, 17:51 Quote
"Sony needs to be more sensitive...."

Isn't this whole, "politically correct" stance going just a bit too far? Everyone getting so afraid of p1ssing off a group/culture/imaginary belief system..

If someone wrote a crime-thriller novel about some horrible serial killer who only "killed people in churches" and the author used real locations/landmarks as the backdrop -- would that get the same attention and spotlight? Would the PM feel the need to comment?

It's just a *video* game. It's *not* real... Why can't these weak minded people see that...?
macroman 13th June 2007, 18:48 Quote
Sony should change the location to the House of Commons. After all that place is full of murderous bastards.

(IMHO)
yodasarmpit 13th June 2007, 19:11 Quote
Quote:
Tony Lloyd (Manchester, Central) (Lab): My right hon. Friend will be aware that when large organisations such as Sony find that their copyright has been breached, they are quick to use the law. Does he agree that when Sony used images of Manchester cathedral as part of a game that extolled gun violence, it was in bad taste and very insulting, not only to the Church of England, but to people across the land who think that it is inappropriate for big corporations to behave in that way?

The Prime Minister: I agree with my hon. Friend. It is important that any companies engaged in promoting such goods have some sense of responsibility and some sensitivity to the feelings of others. I think that it is an immensely difficult area—the relationship between what happens in those games and the impact on young people. I have no doubt that this debate will go on for a significant period, but I agree with him: I think that it is important that people understand that there is wider social responsibility, as well as simply responsibility for profit.

Hardly a scathing attack on Sony, more like the PM diplomatically answering a question at PMQ, he seems, to me, to have taken the middle road.


Edit: Just read <a88>'s reply, a point well made, which I'd like to echo.
It would help if some of you guys posting in the thread took the time to either watch PMQ or read the transcript to understand the statement in it's full context.
Krikkit 13th June 2007, 19:13 Quote
Well said Yoda, hardly the vicious assault on Sony, just a call for people to be more sensitive to other people's feelings regarding things like this. Let's face it, setting a shoot-up inside a real church in-game is quite distasteful.
pendragon 13th June 2007, 19:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by whisperwolf
Quote:
Originally Posted by article

Given that the Church doesn't have a legal leg to stand on though, that might be hard.

Would that be according to your own law degree, your lawyers law degree? or the gamesindustry.biz article you quoted earlier? If it is even they had the sense to use the wording "It is likely there is no basis for a claim"

Would that be according to your own law degree, your lawyers law degree? or the gamesindustry.biz article you quoted earlier? If it is even they had the sense to use the wording "It is likely there is no basis for a claim"

Anyway so far it’s looking more like a win win for both sides, Sony's gotten lots of advertising for its game, church has gotten lots of advertising for its anti-gun campaign. And in a week or so it will all be forgotten.

I have yet to work out if it is the Church of England complaining or the local Bishop and cathedral authorities

^what he said
samkiller42 13th June 2007, 19:38 Quote
Naughty Naughty Sony, should be ashamed of your selves :D
Get in there Blair! ;)

Sam
Veles 13th June 2007, 20:19 Quote
Well, this is all too little too late, even if the game is pulled or theres a patch remove the link between manchester and the in game cathedral. Theres been so much press about this, that every man and his dog knows about it now. Closing the barn door after the horse has bolted (or however it goes) is the saying that springs to mind.

All parties should just give it a rest, they're all making themselves look like idiots. Whats done is done, and getting a "large donation", or the game being pulled from the shelves isn't going to change the fact that it's been done, and that changing it, won't actually change it due to the masses of press coverage.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Krikkit
Well said Yoda, hardly the vicious assault on Sony, just a call for people to be more sensitive to other people's feelings regarding things like this. Let's face it, setting a shoot-up inside a real church in-game is quite distasteful.

I don't really see how it's any more distasteful than a shootup anywhere else that has ever existed, will ever exist, or exists only in fantasy. And it's certainly less distasteful than a real shootup or bombing in a church. But then, I'm not overly religious, but if I were a Christian, I'd find a church no more a symbol of god that the house I'm sitting in or the tree in my garden.
DXR_13KE 13th June 2007, 23:07 Quote
this is getting rather interesting...... like a circus with deformed people and animals......
Tibby 14th June 2007, 00:04 Quote
Quote:
Blair commented that Sony needs to be more sensitive and responsible and that large companies, such as Sony, should pause to think about more than just making profits.


Yea says the man, who lets a lot of our Arms Brokering laws be dictated by BAE systems and how they want to do business.
mikeuk2004 14th June 2007, 02:04 Quote
One of my fav maps on Rainbow 6 Vegas is the one with the church. God fun blasting out the stain glass windows and shooting the terrorists as they poor in through the windows. And the roof top fight is fun too on top of the church sniping the terrorists.

End of the day its just a bit of scenery. Its not as if terrorists are going to use resistance to map out the area and train to blast teh church like with MS flight simulator :P
Almightyrastus 14th June 2007, 02:06 Quote
If the church is insisting on a 'donation' then Sony should offer them their standard advertising fee as a 'thankyou' hehe
SNIPERMikeUK 14th June 2007, 14:13 Quote
This is just a silly, petty, I mean come on where else do u get do blow a church up but in a virtual world, no one gets hurt for real Mr.Blair (boy I cannot wait till that T**T steps down).

If the church had anything to do with video games industry they would be like the ones Rod & Todd play in The Simpsons.....LOL
otispunkmeyer 14th June 2007, 14:21 Quote
tony blair is just desperate, desperate to be remembered for something good. the rest of his career as PM has been full of lies, spin, gross mis-spending and controversial iraq war.

at the G8 summit he ordered everyone out the room so he could have a man to man chat with putin, he's trying to do heroic things that people will remember him by and im sorry tony but you'll always be a grade A idiot in my eyes.

this is no different. stand up for the church... get praise.... go out on a high.
TreeheadWoodfist 16th July 2007, 06:42 Quote
Quote:
The Church has reportedly asked for a large donation

So unlike them to ask for money :O
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