Publications

Publications

This is a list of all my publications. Wherever there are direct links on the titles, the publication is available as a free PDF download.
This is a list of all my publications. Wherever there are direct links on the titles, the publication is available as a free PDF download.

Books

Pixelated Madness. The Construction of Mental Illnesses and Psychiatric Institutions in Video Games. (PhD Dissertation, summa cum laude).

available at Verlag Werner Hülsbusch, Amazon, and many more for 35,80 €.
ISBN: 978-3-86488-194-7
The relationship between madness and video games has been notoriously tense. In an abundance of titles, stereotypes and stigmatisations can be found—not only regarding the mentally ill, but also psychiatry as a discipline. Sequences of electroshock therapy come to mind, mutated patients, and homicidal maniacs. But where do we go from here? And what lies beyond the criticism of how mental illnesses are portrayed in video games?
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In this dissertation, game studies scholar Stefan Heinrich Simond focuses on a small selection of contemporary video games to present detailed qualitative analyses and ultimately develop a typology of madness in video games that can serve as an instructive basis for further study. The primary goal is thereby not to criticise or evaluate but to describe, understand, and disambiguate. From common tropes such as the horror asylum and the animalised inmate to the sanity meter and subversive means of subjectification, a broad angle on madness in video games is presented.
Aside from the concrete analyses, this dissertation also presents a constructivist understanding of madness. Instead of comparing video game characters to diagnostic manuals or therapeutic means to their actual application, video games are taken for what they are: creative expressions that aim to inspire and entertain. Madness in video games is then not considered a mirror to mental illnesses in real life, but a construction in its own right. Based on the presented observations, a new angle on the status of madness in the media might be well warranted.

Krankheiten in digitalen Spielen. Interdisziplinäre Betrachtungen

with Dr. Arno Görgen, 2020, available for free.
This is the internationally first anthology focused entirely on illnesses in video games. The book spans a wide subjects from theoretical considerations to physical afflictions, mental illnesses, and games for health. Roughly half the articles are in English, the other half is in German.
The best thing is though that we published the anthology with transcript as open access. You can download it entirely for free here.
 
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Articles

Representation of Psychiatry in Video Games. The Example of Electroshock Therapy

with Dr. Saskia Wilhelmy and Prof. Dr. med. Michael Grözinger
in: K. W. Schmidt, A. Riedel, H. J. Wulff, A. Frewer (eds.) Yearbook Ethics in Clinics 16. Medical Ethics and Nursing Ethics in the Media, 2023, pp. 87–107.

Autonomy, Heteronomy, and Representations of Illness in Digital Games

with Dr. Arno Görgen
in: M. Groen, N. Kiel, A. Tillmann & A. Weßel (eds.) Games and Ethics. Theoretical and Empirical Approaches to Ethical Questions in Digital Game Cultures, 2020, pp. 239–256.

Psychiatrische Kliniken als totale Institutionen in digitalen Spielen

in: A. Görgen/S. H. Simond (eds.) Krankheiten in digitalen Spielen. Interdisziplinäre Betrachtungen, 2020, 115–143.

Mental Health als Authentifikationsfiktion im digitalen Spiel

with Dr. Arno Görgen
in: M. Hennig and Hans Krah (eds.) Spielzeichen III. Kulturen im Computerspiel / Kulturen des Computerspiels, 2020, pp. 406–434.

Polit-Serien im Fernsehen. Gegenstandsbestimmung, Stand der Forschung und neue Perspektiven

with Prof. Dr. Andreas Dörner
in: N. Switek (ed.) Politik in Fernsehserien. Analysen und Fallstudien zu House of Cards, Borgen & Co, 2018, pp. 33–52.

Die Entgrenzung des Spiels – Kursorische Überlegungen zum unfreiwilligen und unwissentlichen Spielen

PAIDIA, 2017.

Let’s Play. Zwischen interpassiver Rezeption und subversiver Kulturpraxis

in: T. Bendels, B. Runzheimer, and S. Strecker (eds.) Playing in-between. Intermediale Aspekte zeitgenössischer Computerspielpraxis, 2016, pp. 177–206.

Lara Croft und die Abenteuer des verlorenen Selbstbewusstseins. Eine komparative Analyse der didaktischen Methodik aus mediennostalgischer Perspektive am Beispiel Tomb Raider

in: A.M. Letourneur, M. Mosel, and T. Raupach (eds.) Retro-Games und Retro-Gaming. Nostalgie als Phänomen einer performativen Ästhetik von Computer- und Videospielkulturen, 2015, pp. 167–188.