Monday, June 11, 2007

Exclusive: The Sony-Cathedral 'Conversation'

My astonishing powers of clairvoyance enable me to bring you the conversation that will take place later today between Manchester Cathedral and Sony over the latter's use of the former's interior as the scene of a violent shoot-out in the game Resistance: Fall of Man.

Sony: So, Manchester Cathedral, help me to understand your concerns in more detail.
Manchester Cathedral: Well, Sony, glad you asked. Tea? My problem is that I am a place of worship, contemplation and peace and you have abused me by using my interior as the scene of a bloody massacre designed to inflame and deaden the sensibilities of young people too stupid and ill-educated to do anything other than play computer games in their smelly bedrooms and sublimate their dull and routine teenage anguish into fevered dreams of mass slaughter. This, I feel, is, if I maybe so bold, less than helpful.
Sony: No, sorry, still don't get it. Can I have a biscuit with this?

This story is, in short, a very fine example of what my esteemed buddy John Gray often calls 'incommensurable world views'.

12 comments:

  1. MC: Oh, so sorry. Hobnob.
    Sony: Well, Ginger-nut would be better. They hold better when one dunks.
    MC: well, we used to have a selection but these days. The costs of repair on the roof, walls, floor, choir, towers, and the Alter is listing into the crypt. While the little boys are dropping through the lofts, and the organ has issues with Handel.
    Sony: you want a Sistine Chapel arrangement.
    MC: No, we do not do paintings, but a rebuild from the bedrock up might be nice.

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  2. Surely not, Vince. You are a cynic. Although, that scene you describe, Byran, sounds very Old Testament. Could that be a way in for Sony, perhaps?

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  3. Seems a tempest in a teapot to me.

    How much overlap is there between people who have feelings of reverence for Manchester Cathedral, and people who would play "Resistance: Fall of Man" ?

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  4. Should I really admit that I'm of an age where I'd be inclined to do both?

    I find it hard to reconcile people’s defence of, for example, bad art, with their need to denounce games and gaming. Many games are, admittedly, puerile in the extreme, but many are not, and all, unlike passive forms of entertainment such as the TV, exercise the mind. The cliché of the gamer staring wide-eyed in a zombified state at the TV screen is one perpetuated by those that haven’t grown up in that culture. You wouldn’t say the same about somebody engrossed in a book, yet parallels can be made between the two activities, though gaming tend to be more social.

    In the end, I can’t help but feel that this is the Church of England’s Da Vinci Code moment and the whole thing has been organised by a publicist. Sony are the CofE to Microsoft’s Catholicism. This publicity is sure to help both Sony and the Church of England in the long run. How long before the Cathedral have signs pointing out where the savegame points would have been located?

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  5. I've grown up in the midst of the gaming culture, Chip, and while I wouldn't argue with the games being engrossing, and perhaps enjoyable while played, as a whole I'd see them as little more than a black hole for consciousness. Which isn't to dispute your point about television addiction.
    Why I mentioned the seemingly superfluous 'enjoyable while played', is that unlike experiencing something of artistic depth that follows on into life at a deeper level, gaming is an utterly in the moment phenomenon, and because of its inherent isolation in terms of wider life, amounts to the mentioned black hole or nullified time. In 'Babylon', Victor Pelevin makes some fascinating observations about the experience of consciousness in the watching television/gaming state, which he describes as a kind of spirit possession but without the spirit bit. These thoughts are of course passed on to the hero by Che Guevara by means of use of an ouija board.

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  6. As someone who used to read for about 7 hours a day, and has also wasted hundreds of hours on Delta Force & Rainbox Six & Baldur's Gate, i think Andrew is absolutely right. Computer games can be incredibly enjoyable, and are often wrought with considerable skill; but i've taken virtually nothing from them, just a tendency to scan the treeline for movement, "Gold sniper: fire!"-style lingo, and a few odd cross-overs into physical movement, e.g. i 'slice the pie' when going round corners, which has saved me from spilling my tea over rushing people many a time, and in Raven Shield helped me shoot people in the head - but otherwise they were just black holes. i played 'Baldur's Gate' once for about 36 hours without feeling tired, even though i started just before i was about to go to bed - if that isn't worryingly addictive, what is?

    i was a normal, clean-cut young man before i installed 'Delta Force' back in 2000.

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  7. Just to say that is not necessarily me speaking, it's Manchester Cathedral. We go back a long way but we are not the same person.

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  8. My great grandfather was Clerk of Manchester Cathedral.

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  9. Working Class HeroJune 11, 2007 11:20 pm

    When aliens invade, I ,for one, will not lift a finger to defend Manchester Cathedral.

    Moral blackmail. Kerching!

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  11. How much overlap is there between people who have feelings of sony vgp-bps2b battery reverence for Manchester Cathedral, and people who would play "Resistance: Fall of Man" ?

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  12. well, we used to have a selection but these days. The costs of repair on the roof, walls, floor, choir, towers, and the Alter is listing into the crypt. While the little boys are dropping through the lofts, and the organ has issues with Handel.sony vgp-bps2b battery Sony: you want a Sistine Chapel arrangement.
    MC: No, we do not do paintings, but a rebuild from the bedrock up might be nice.

    ReplyDelete