Sandra Plontke
Ruhr-University Bochum
Mercator Research Group
"Spaces of Anthropological Knowledge"
Universitaetsstr. 150
44801 Bochum

Room: FNO 02/14
Phone: +49-(0)234- 32 27252
Fax: +49-(0)234- 32 14744
E-Mail: Sandra Plontke

Sandra Plontke


Sandra Plontke studied German literature, social psychology and social anthropology at the Ruhr-University of Bochum. After her master’s thesis on epistemological aspects of nonverbal communication in the work of Hugo von Hofmannsthal she has been working as a lecturer at the University’s Institute of German Philology and later on at the Department of Social Psychology and Social Anthropology. The main focus of her teaching is on qualitative social scientific analysis of visual media such as films, video-clips and pictures. Besides she gives courses on intercultural communication and intercultural competence. In 2012 she led the project “Cultural psychological analysis of film, video and picture” which was funded- by the Foundation for Cultural Studies (Kulturwissenschaftliche Stiftung) in Essen. In the framework of that project and together with her students she coordinated the exhibition “Inside Out – Pictures of the own and the different” (18. Oct. - 18. Nov. 2012). Sandra’s main research interests are cultural psychology, visual culture and media studies as well as praxeology and the sociology of knowledge.

Research Project

In her dissertation project she wants to detect and describe what kind of knowledge about violence and media harm exists within the game industry. More specifically, it is one of her main interests to learn how knowledge about media harm and violence is produced, circulates and is translated and how it enters the process of game development. To what extent, for example, does it influence the practices and routines of the developers when it comes to decisions about the plots or the design of showplaces and key figures?
Since not only human subjects but also their material environment is involved in the production and formation of knowledge, the project will investigate the relationship between both. Therefore methods used in ethnographic approaches will be combined with methods borrowed from artifact and media analysis. Considering, for example, that different forms of visualization are constitutive elements of the material context in which game development takes place, the project seeks to integrate approaches of visual studies and pictorial science in order to investigate and analyze more thoroughly where and how knowledge about media harm is represented in the game developing industry.


  • Plontke, S. (2016 im Erscheinen): How things are designed and how they design.
    In: Attila Bruni, Parolin Laura Lucia, Cornelius Schubert (Eds.): Designing work, technology, organizations and vice versa. Vernon.
  • Plontke, S. (2014): The Human Creator as an Interface.
    In: Claudio Coletta, Sara Colombo, Paolo Magaudda et al. (Eds.): A Matter of Design. Making Society through Science and Technology. Proceeding of the 5th STS Italia Conference, p. 395 - 409.
  • Plontke, S. (2000). Rezension zu Michael Wermke: „Jugendliteratur über den Holocaust. Eine religionspädagogische, gedächtnissoziologische und literaturtheoretische Untersuchung“. In: Zeitschrift für Diaspora- und Genozidforschung, 2, 2, S. 134-135.
  • Plontke, S. (2007). Von Ago bis Zwicken. Die Fachsprache der Schuhfertigungstechnik in ihrer lexikalischen Vielfalt. In: Muttersprache 117, S. 61-74.


  • Plontke, S. - Game developer's vision: media culture, technology and the problem of realism Lecture within the PHD course "Introduction to STS" (02 - 04 June) at the Aalborg University in Copenhagen.
    Time: 04 June 2015
    Place: Aalborg University, Copenhagen
  • Plontke, S. - Realizing Video Games. The Makings and Meanings of Realism(s) in Game Development Talk at the IT University of Copenhagen organized by the Games Research Group led by Espen Aarseth.
    Time: 03 June 2015
    Place: Center for Computer Games Research, IT University of Copenhagen.
  • Plontke, S. - Konfigurationen von Gewalt – Wie und was Entwickler von Computerspielen über Gewalt erzählen Talk at the 49th conference of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Psychologie Sandra Plontke.
    Time: 22 September 2014
    Place: Ruhr-University, Bochum.
  • Plontke, S. - The Human Creator as an Interface Talk at the 5th STS Italia Conference "A Matter of Design: Making Society through Science and Technology" about the heterogeneous engineering creativity in game design.
    Time: 12 - 14 June 2014
    Place: Politecnico Milano.