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Simon Niedenthal
Senior Lecturer

What is the contribution of the senses to our experience of games and play? What are the legitimate pleasures of digital games? How can we expand the sensory and embodied experience of play in new media?

I conduct design-oriented game studies research in the areas of game aesthetics, the sensory experience of gaming, and playtesting processes for innovative game design. My background is eclectic: I hold a BFA in photography, an MA in Medieval English literature, and a Ph.D. in interaction design. In 2008 I defended my Ph.D. thesis Complicated Shadows: the Aesthetic Significance of Simulated Illumination in Digital Games, in the area of game lighting and its effect upon the emotions and behavior of the player. I have worked to develop close bonds to the local game industry, including companies such as Ubisoft Massive, where I conducted a residence in 2006 during the development of a strategy game. Besides teaching courses in media design, interaction design, visual communications and game design, I am a supervisor for thesis work at the bachelors, masters and doctoral level.

Faculties and departments

Faculty of Culture and Society pil show
School of Arts and Communication pil show

Contact details
Visiting address: Nordenskiöldsgatan 1, Niagara,
Postal address:Malmö universitet, 205 06 Malmö
Delivery address:71

  • Publications

  • Selected publications from Malmö University Electronic Publishing.

    Doctoral thesis
    Niedenthal, Simon (2008) Complicated Shadows: The Aesthetic Significance of Simulated Illumination in Digital Games. Blekinge Technical University, ISBN 978-91-7295-142-6, ISSN 1653-2090, . (PDF document) (application/pdf)

    Peer-reviewed Journal Articles
    Niedenthal, Simon (2012) "Skin Games: Fragrant Play, Scented Media and the Stench of Digital Games" Eludamos: Journal for Computer Game Culture;1, 1-31, Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab, ISSN 1866-6124, (PDF document) (application/pdf)

    Niedenthal, Simon (2010) "Indoor Fireworks: The Pleasures of Digital Game Pyrotechnics" Eludamos: Journal for Computer Game Culture;1, 69-83, Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab, ISSN 1866-6124, URL [länk], (PDF document) (application/pdf)

    Seif El-Nasr, Magy, Al-Saati, Maha, Niedenthal, Simon, Milam, David (2008) "Assassin`s Creed: A Multi-Cultural Read" Loading . . .;3, Simon Fraser University, ISSN 1923-2691, URL [länk], (PDF document) (application/pdf)

    Knez, Igor, Niedenthal, Simon (2008) "Lighting in digital game worlds: effects on affect and play performance" CyberPsychology and Behavior;2, 129-137, Mary Ann Liebert, ISSN 1802-7962, DOI [länk], (PDF document) (application/pdf)

    Seif El-Nasr, Magy, Niedenthal, Simon, Knez, Igor, Almeida, Priya, Zupko, Joseph (2007) "Dynamic Lighting for Tension in Games" Game Studies: the international journal of computer game research;1, IT University Copenhagen, ISSN 1604-7982, URL [länk],

    Niedenthal, Simon (2002) "Learning from the Cornell Box" LEONARDO;3, 249-254, MIT Press, ISSN 1530-9282, DOI [länk], (PDF document) (application/pdf)

    Niedenthal, Simon (1993) "Glamourized Houses : Neutra, Photography, and the Kaufmann House" Journal of Architectural Education;2, 101-112, Blackwell Publishing, ISSN 1046-4883, URL [länk], (PDF document) (application/pdf)

    Chapters in Monographs
    Perron, Bernard (red./ed.) | Niedenthal, Simon (2009) Patterns of Obscurity: Gothic Setting and Light in Resident Evil 4 and Silent Hill 2. Mc Farland & Company, Inc., 168-180, ISBN 978-0-7864-4197-6, (PDF document) (application/pdf)

    de Castell, Suzanne, Jenson, Jennifer (red./ed.) | Niedenthal, Simon (2007) Shadowplay: Simulated Illumination in Game Worlds. Peter Lang, 221-228, ISBN 978-0-8204-8643-7, (PDF document) (application/pdf)

    Skare, Roswitha, Lund, Niels Windfeld, Vårheim, Andreas (red./ed.) | Niedenthal, Simon (2007) Documents of Light: Three Case Studies and a Preliminary Model for Organizing Light Knowledge. Peter Lang, 153-164, ISBN 978-3-631-56294-9, (PDF document) (application/pdf)

    Streitz, Norbert, Kameas, Achilles, Mavrommati, Irene (red./ed.) | Ehn, Pelle, Eriksen, Mette Agger, Linde, Per, Peterson, Bo, Niedenthal, Simon, Binder, Thomas, Jacucci, Giulio, Kuutti, Kari, De Michelis, Giorgio, Rumpfhuber, Andres, Wagner, Ina (2007) Opening the Digital Box for Design Work - Supporting performative interactions, using inspirational materials and configuring of place. Springer Verlag, The Disappearing Computer, 50-76, ISBN 3-540-72725-6, ISSN 0302-9743,

    Bolvig, Axel, Lindley, Phillip (red./ed.) | Niedenthal, Simon (2003) Six St. Jeromes: notes on the technology and uses of computer lighting simulations. Brepol Publishers, 131-138, ISBN 2-503-51155-4, ISSN 99-2977035-6, (PDF document) (application/pdf)

    Conference Contributions
    Niedenthal, Simon (2009) "What We Talk About When We Talk About Game Aesthetics" (peer-review paper) DiGRA Online Library, (PDF document) (application/pdf)

    Niedenthal, Simon (2007) "Real-Time Sweetspot: The Multiple Meanings of Game Company Playtests" (peer-review paper) DiGRA, (PDF document) (application/pdf)
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Malmö högskola
Kultur och samhälle
Konst, kultur och kommunikation Enhet för design
WORK 205 06 Malmö Sverige Nordenskiöldsgatan 1
  Malmö universitet  
205 06 Malmö
  , rum Niagara,, Nordenskiöldsgatan 1, Malmö

work 040-6657164
Simon Niedenthal