The Bishop of Manchester, Right Reverend Nigel McCulloch, has gone on air on BBC Radio 2's Jeremy Vine show this afternoon apparently to defend his position on decrying the use of Manchester Cathedral
in the PlayStation 3 game Resistance Fall of Man
. Rather than bringing unity, reason and peace to the situation McCulloch appeared to blame the British Government for not taking a stand.
Speaking on the show, the bishop claimed that had the fictional setting for the alien versus human battle taken place in a mosque, "questions would have been asked in the House (of Commons)" and the game would have been withdrawn.
The bishop may have liked to consult some history before fanning the flames of religious sectarianism. Back in 2002, the Sikh community managed to get thousands of copies of Eidos' Hitman 2
pulled from shops in Great Britain. The game had featured the very real depiction of the Sikh's holiest site - Harimander Sahib, also known as the Golden Temple at Amritsar - where, in 1984, hundreds of Sikhs were massacred when Indian troops stormed the temple.
The British government did not intercede in this case - the game was withdrawn because a petition was raised by the Sikh community.
The bishop's 'defence' of "if it was the muslims then the government would have got involved" will do nothing whatsoever to ensure that Manchester or any other city in Great Britain remains free of violence.
McCulloch also widened the argument away from his own cathedral and into videogaming per se by stating that "some research from the United States" has gone some way to proving a link between videogame playing and real life violence.
Rather than quote a source for the research, the bishop moved on. SPOnG phoned the show in order to get comment or a reference to the research. We were told, "No, he didn't quote any sources".
We have also contacted the bishop's press office in order to get our hands on the research that proves a link between videogames and violence. As yet we have had no response to any of our questions via telephone or email.
There is one solid fact regarding a link between external stimulus and real-world violence: reading literature that states that your deity is better than another deity has lead to the murders of the Inquisition and the Crusades.