- The Washington Times - Saturday, July 7, 2007

LONDON (AP) — Sony issued a public apology yesterday for a violent video game that features a bloody shootout inside an Anglican cathedral, but it did not address the Church of England’s demands that the company withdraw the game.

The church has demanded that Sony Corp. stop selling the game “Resistance: Fall of Man,” which includes a gunbattle between an American soldier and aliens inside a building that resembles Manchester Cathedral in northwest England.

The entertainment giant said in an apology, published yesterday in the Manchester Evening News, that company officials had met with church community leaders and Sony acknowledged the game had caused offense. The company said it now considered the matter closed.

“It was never our intention to offend anyone in the making of this game, and we would like to apologize unreservedly to them for causing that offense, and to all parts of the wider community who we might also have offended,” Sony Computer Entertainment Europe President David A. Reeves said in the apology.

Manchester Cathedral’s dean, the Very Rev. Rogers Govender said the apology fell short of what the church had requested.

“We asked Sony to withdraw the game,” he said. “They have refused to do this.”

“We asked Sony to make a substantial donation to community groups nominated by the Cathedral. They have refused to do this,” he said, referring the church’s education department, which works to fight gun violence in Manchester.

Mr. Govender also urged Sony and others in the computer industry to agree not to set violent game in places of prayer and worship.

Sony declined to comment on the church’s outstanding demands, but Mr. Reeves promised that the cathedral would not be used in future Sony video games.

Mr. Reeves last month apologized in a letter sent to Manchester Cathedral to anyone who was offended by the game. The letter was then posted on the Church of England’s Web site.

“We now consider the matter closed, and will not be making any further comment,” the company said in a separate statement.

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