Has Sony just incited the wrath of God…?
Yes, while the world of computer games is usually more troubled with fame seeking pseudo-lawyers like Jack Thompson, it actually has a far greater enemy this time around: the Lord himself, or at least his servants here on earth.
In a curious turn of events the Church of England is considering taking legal action against Sony for featuring Manchester Cathedral as a setting for a bloody shootout in Resistance: Fall of Man. A decision it describes as 'highly irresponsible' and one which is 'undermining' the work of the church.
Defending its actions Sony responded "Sony Computer Entertainment Europe is aware of the concerns expressed by the Bishop of Manchester and the cathedral authorities... and we naturally take the concerns very seriously. Resistance: Fall of Man is a fantasy science fiction game and is not based on reality. We believe we have sought and received all permissions necessary for the creation of the game."
Being that religion and the sociological effects of computer game violence are two topics we shouldn't touch with a ten foot bargepole here's my ten cents: computer games (like movies) have long used settings based on real life places and buildings to add impact, but I would argue how you do it is more important than where you place it. In this sense: Aliens + bloodbaths = real-world cathedral, probably not the smartest move.
In Sony's defence 'Resistance' does come with a BBFC 15 age rating and it does make deliberate reference to English locals throughout for context, but - using the same philosophy - would it have dared to use the Vatican? I think not.
Resistance: Fall of Man - Manchester Cathedral game play Make up your own minds
Resistance: Fall of Man Official Site
Manchester Cathedral Because it really is lovely