Video Games Blamed For Synagogue Firebombings

The defence attorney for a 19-year-old New Jersey man under arrest for the firebombing of several synagogues is blaming video games for his behaviour. According to lawyer Robert Kalisch, Anthony Graziano's unstable mental health was undermined by violent video games played on his Xbox:

"This is someone who may be, with their own problems they have within their own head, been taken over by these games that young people play now — lots of violence, lots of meanness," Kalisch said.

The bombings in question happened earlier in January with a Paramus synagogue was firebombed on January 3, followed by another incident at a temple in the Rutherford section of New Jersey. The prosecutor on the case with said that Graziano is "hell-bent on destruction and murder". The charges against Graziano include nine counts of first degree attempted murder, one count of first degree Bias Intimidation and one count of first degree Aggravated Arson. Kalisch also commented that "When you have emotional, psychiatric, psychological problems, and you get involved in these games, the whole aura of it pervades and it's not a game anymore. It becomes reality."

No specific mention was made of what games Graziano had been playing. Kotaku's reached out to the Bergen County prosecutor's office, who had no comment on the case. Attempts to contact Graziano's defence attorney were unsuccessful.

Synagogue Firebombings Blamed on Violent Video Games [NBC 4 New York]

Photo: Bergen County Prosecutor's Office


    Son of Sam said that he murdered people because his dog told him too.

    Crazy people do crazy shit, and they can blame whatever they want. The problem is, the in the old days, the value of your word was intrinsically linked to the value of your actions.

      You're right. We should ban the possession of Dogs due to their proven negative impact on people

        Wow, it's all so obvious now. It was the dogs all along

    Yeah because the fact he was fucked in the head was only a small factor, poor innocent fellow completely taken over by these evil vidja gaemes!!!!

    The attack being on 2 synagogues pretty fucking strongly points towards religious motivation, you want a form of reality denying escapism thats ACTUALLY dangerous, look there.

    FUUUUUUUUUUU why does this keep coming up.

    Let's not blame a lack of mental health care.

    Also if he firebombed a synagogue then there was probably something religious to it (like the 2011 Oslo bombing)

    I bet if this guy got caught shoplifting as a kid he would have said an older boy made him do it.

    Shifting his anti-Semitic attacks on games is such an obvious decoy but you wait and see how many right wing media outlets jump on this.

    I can guarantee that if this story somehow makes it to the mainstream Australian media, we can expect Sunrise to do another one of their wonderful video game bashing stories and bring in their resident expert Jim Wallace. . .

      Why did you have to say his name...

    whats the game where you fire bomb synagouges again?

    or an anti-semitic game for that matter?

    bet the game was dark souls, that game sometimes makes me want to go on a

    Oh god not this again. out of the hundreds of millions of people who play video games it is assumed that if one guy does something stupid and plays "violent video games" the video games are to fault, and that everyone or even anyone will have the same reaction? of course not, but the media wants us to think that for some reason. Lets get this straight, It's the player, not the game.

    Graziano; "What I thought the synagogues were dungeons! ... they must burn.."

    Why don't these ill informed brainwashed dicks just call it "GTA Syndrome" and at least make it sound as if they have factual evidence to support their clams?

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