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Why can't the media get basic facts right?

By Scott Tibbs, June 12, 2007

A headline on CNN.com proclaims "Cathedral shootout game under fire". That is just a brazen, blatant, bold faced lie. Resistance: Fall of Man is not a cathedral shootout game. Part of the game takes place in a cathedral. In fact, a very small part of the game takes place in the cathedral. There is a big difference there, and CNN's headline was just plain irresponsible.

Second, the game is not about "rival gunmen". The game's premise is that humanity is fighting back against an invasion by horrific monsters. Why can't the media get basic facts right? Do these so-called "journalists" do any actual research on the topic of their articles? I have to wonder of the church would have displayed such outrage if the game were set in World War II, with Allied soldiers defending the Cathedral against a fictional German invasion? Manchester may have a gun crime problem, but this isn't Grand Theft Auto.

Part of the realism of a game like Resistance (if a game where you fight monsters can be considered "realistic") comes from fighting in real locations. There is a reason that the aliens in Independence Day blew up the White House in the movie's signature scene. Part of the humor of Team America's opening scene was the destruction of the Eiffel Tower by an overzealous American strike force chasing Islamic jihadists.

The church leaders have called the game sick and sacrilegious, as well as a "desecration" of the cathedral. Come on, folks. It is a video game. The hero is fighting alien invaders. Of all of the things that have been done to Christians over the centuries, and of all the persecution Christians currently face around the world, the Church of England is bitterly complaining about a video game six months after it was released for the PlayStation 3 console?

The demand for a donation is just rich. (Pun intended.) Church officials have taken a page right out of Jesse Jackson's playbook here. I do not believe that imitating one of America's most infamous race baiters is a good thing to do. Furthermore, why is the church demanding a donation, especially in such a public way? That is not the way that Jesus Christ would have the church raise funds for His house of worship. Perhaps asking Sony behind the scenes would have been appropriate, but the church seems to be forcing Sony to donate the way the Pharisees did.

Demanding the game be removed from store shelves makes the church look small-minded and petty. Unfortunately, the church has painted itself into a corner by throwing a very public tantrum. The best thing to do would be to let the matter die and focus on things that are much more important than the location where fictional video game characters attempt to save the human race from a fictional extraterrestrial invasion.