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Persuasive Games Feature: 'The Reverence of Resistance'

In his regular Gamasutra column, writer, game designer, and Colbert Report guest Ian Bogost examines the recent controversy over Resistance: Fall Of Man's use of Manchester Cathedral, suggesting Insomniac's PS3 game is actually "steeped in reverenc
In his regular Gamasutra column, Persuasive Games' Ian Bogost examines the controversial appearance of Manchester Cathedral in Resistance: Fall Of Man -- and suggests that the use of the cathedral advances the game's expressive goals in its reverence and respect for the cathedral and the church. As Bogost says: "Absent the creators’ own ability, interest, or resolve to defend the artistic merits of their creation, that task is now left to the critic. For my part, I think the cathedral creates one of the only significant experiences in the whole game, one steeped in reverence for the cathedral and the church, rather than desecration." Cutting past the typical smokescreen of IP controversy, Bogost focuses on cultural issues, as discussed in this excerpt: "For once, let's leave the rights issues to the attorneys. Let's instead focus on the cultural issues. What does Manchester Cathedral mean in the game, and why might its appearance support the cathedral's relevance more than it detracts from it? A cynic, unbeliever, or Internet troll might point out the irony of the church pointing the finger, given the millennia-old history of church-sponsored violence. A gamer might rely on the title's status as fantasy fiction to nullify the validity of affront. Such impressions are merely instrumental attempts to foil the church’s parry rather than reasoned attempts to justify the expressive ends served by depicting the cathedral in the game. And despite its creators’ silence on the matter, the game does indeed have one. " You can now read the complete feature, which details Bogost's further thoughts on why the Cathedral might actually be the most useful part of the game (no registration required, please feel free to link to this feature from external websites).

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