In 1934 T. S. Eliot wrote the play "Murder in the Cathedral" memorialising the 1170 murder of Thomas Beckett in Canterbury cathedral. Eliot was assisted and encouraged in production of the play by the then Bishop of Chichester, and the play later turned into a film...without occasioning any outcry from the Church of England that murdering Archbishops, especially in their cathedrals, was not something they especially wished to see encouraged.
Seventy-odd years later the Church of England and Sony have become embroiled in an argument over who owns the right to computer-generated game spaces (BBC) based on a church property - specifically, Manchester Cathedral, computer-generated depictions of which feature in Sony's counter-factual PS3 sci-fi shooter "Resistance: Fall of Man".
That the church apparently calls the setting of a firefight against genocidal aliens in its cathedral "sick" and sacrilegious is entirely beside the point, as is the concern that Manchester is riddled with gun crime and children will somehow be encouraged by the game to shoot one another in the nave. (This notion that children cannot distinguish art from reality is brilliantly satirised in last week's Onion radio article "Teen injured mimicking crucification he saw on Christian TV".) The artistic principle at stake here is whether someone who happens to own a building can set limits on artistic representations of (or within) that building. Art - and computer gaming is art, indeed perhaps the only truly original artform of the C20th - cannot be so constrained.
The next age of gaming will clearly be persistent, locative and overlaid upon the corporeal world. Google Earth and Microsoft Virtual World are the platforms for the next generation of always-on, mobile, real-world games. We're going to see a lot more of this - games spilling over into the real world encountering resistance from the owners of the real-world spaces they touch fearful for the effects of the game on the public image of their space. The principle, however, is long established and perfectly clear. Bringing additional realism and immersion to art should not suddenly grant a host of new powers to those unhappy to be depicted by it.