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.


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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  • Simond, Stefan H. ‘The Sanity Meter. Madness as a Manageable Resource’. Games & Psychology, edited by F A Igarzábal, et al., transcript, 2024, [in print].
  • Wilhelmy, Saskia, et al. ‘Representation of Psychiatry in Video Games. The Example of Electroshock Therapy’. Yearbook Ethics in Clinics. Medical Ethics and Nursing Ethics in the Media, edited by Kurt W. Schmidt et al., vol. 16, Verlag Königshausen & Neumann, 2023, pp. 87–107.
  • Görgen, Arno, and Stefan H. Simond. ‘Mental Health als Authentizitätsfiktion im Digitalen Spiel’. Kulturen im Computerspiel, Kulturen des Computerspiels, Verlag Werner Hülsbusch, 2020, pp. 406–34.
  • Simond, Stefan H. ‘Let’s Play. Zwischen interpassiver Rezeption und subversiver Kulturpraxis’. Playing In-between: Intermediale Aspekte zeitgenössischer Computerspielpraxis, edited by Thomas Bendels et al., Verlag Werner Hülsbusch, 2016, p. 177‒206.
  • Simond, Stefan H. ‘Lara Croft und die Abenteuer des verlorenen Selbstbewusstseins. Eine komparative Analyse der didaktischen Methodik aus mediennostalgischer Perspektive am Beispiel Tomb Raider’. Retro-Games und Retro-Gaming: Nostalgie als Phänomen einer performativen Ästhetik von Computer- und Videospielkulturen, edited by Ann-Marie Letourneur et al., Verlag Werner Hülsbusch, 2015, p. 167‒188.