Dr Danielle Barrios-O'Neill
Senior Lecturer in Entrepreneurship
PhD in Literature & Interactive Media
University of Ulster
MA in English
University of Georgia
BA in English
University of Georgia
Honours and awards
Senior Fellow, HEA
Research interests and expertise
Gaming and Multiplatform Narrative
Digital games and gaming have become a ubiquitous part of social and cultural life, a fact which has implications not only for the media themselves, but also for how we engage citizens, experience art, conduct scholarship and teach. I'm interested in developing game-led experiences to suit cultural contexts that are increasingly user-created, distributed, asynchronous, proactive, and dynamic. In particular, my research explores the potentials of gaming and game-led experiences to be deployed for social good, including in post-conflict/post-terrorism contexts, and in the service of transitions related to climate change.
My PhD adapted post-conflict literature to a playable street-game in Belfast, a flagship indie game titled [in]visible belfast that was produced as part of the Belfast Book Festival in 2011. This served as a basis for beginning to understand how pervasive games, social games and alternative reality games can serve as public outreach tools and pedagogical tools, particularly in culturally sensitive contexts. This was later adapted to a game-based audio documentary for BBC Radio 4 titled “Invisible Belfast” (2016). I have also developed text-based games, social media apps and audio/podcast games that focus on driving engagement using the attributes of mixed real-world and digital social networks.
Since 2014 I have been exploring possibilities for a variety of digital media—and particularly game-based experiences—to be instrumental in transitioning to more sustainable energy economies, work which has been informed by private sector work in renewable energy (2013-14) and digital communications (2014-16). Broadly, my conceptual approach foregrounds the importance of communicating complex issues using appropriately complex interactive modes, which prioritise local or community-based social networks and emotionally intelligent game design. With respect to energy games, for example, this challenges the standard approach to energy intervention, dominated by fact-based campaigns, a mode consistently shown to be ineffective over the long term.
My research contributes to the emergent area of the Climate Humanities, the nexus of humanities approaches to understanding and facing the challenges of climate change which is complementary to Climate Sciences. Like many who are developing communication- and humanities-based approaches to addressing issues around environmental change, I produce research that often sits across disciplines, having published in journals as diverse as Textual Practice, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, and Futures. I enjoy approaching issues around climate change from a variety of critical and cultural perspectives (for example, the ecological, climate crisis-driven aesthetics of contemporary science podcasts) as well as with practice and industry-led thinking (for example, how multiplatform design can be used to communicate the complexity of energy systems). My work in this area includes discourse and cultural analysis as well as practical application and project development.
Tech & Post-Digital Interaction
My research in this area engages approaches from digital humanities, cultural theory, informatics, and technology theory, to characterise and understand what can be described as the post-digital. Post-digital culture comprises various instantiations of new and emerging technologies and their outcomes, where both are characterised by things like:
- chaotic systems, emergence and deep structure
- gaming and game-like elements
- permeation of media boundaries (convergence culture)
- decline of geographic identity constructions, particularly in younger generations
- more sophisticated information-sifting behaviours
- greater cognitive adaptability
- “fast-flow” of media-cultural interchange
- “always-on” modes and “living” cultural artefacts (eg. memes)
Importantly, the post-digital also includes a mature, appropriately complex reception of the digital age, one that sees technology’s implications as indicating neither salvation nor apocalypse. Much of my research works at tracing a network of post-digital values, practices, and themes across a variety of multiplatform communications.
- Sustainable Tourism Development
- Digital Tourism Innovation
- Arts & Ecology
- Design for Sustainable Development
- Games & Interaction
- Digital Games theory
- Games and Storytelling
Publications and research outputs
|Barrios-O'Neill, Danielle and Collins, Michael (2018) At Home with the Weird: Dark Eco-Discourse in Tanis and Welcome to Night Vale. Revenant: Critical and Creative Studies of the Supernatural, 3. ISSN ISSN 2397-8791|
|Hook, Alan, Barrios-O'Neill, Danielle and Mairs Dyer, Jolene (2016) A Transmedia Topology of Making a Murderer. VIEW Journal of European Television History and Culture, 5 (10). ISSN 2213-0969|
|Barrios-O'Neill, Danielle (2016) Chaotics and the post-digital in Ciarán Carson’s Exchange Place. Textual Practice, 29. pp. 1-18. ISSN 1470-1308|
|Barrios-O'Neill, Danielle and Hook, Alan (2016) Future Energy Networks and the Role of Interactive Gaming as Simulation. Futures, 81. pp. 119-129. ISSN 0016-3287|
|Barrios-O'Neill, Danielle (2016) Rewilding Form: Recent Approaches to Complexity in Literary Studies. Interdisciplinary Literary Studies, 18 (2). pp. 282-290. ISSN 1524-8429|
|Barrios-O'Neill, Danielle and Schuitema, Geertje (2016) Online engagement for sustainable energy projects. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 54. pp. 1611-1621. ISSN 1364-0321 Item availability may be restricted.|
|Barrios-O'Neill, Danielle (2011) Ciaran Carson's Belfast: Redrafting the Destroyed Native Space. Nordic Irish Studies, 10. pp. 15-33. ISSN 1602-124X|
|Barrios-O'Neill, Danielle (2018) Wild Listening: Ecology of a Science Podcast. In: Podcasting: New Aural Cultures and Digital Media. Palgrave Macmillan, London, UK, pp. 147-172. ISBN 978-3-319-90056-8 Item availability may be restricted.|
|Barrios-O'Neill, Danielle and Hook, Alan (2012) Jumping through the layers: alternate reality games and literature. In: Using Games to Enhance Learning and Teaching: A Beginner’s Guide. Routledge, London, UK, pp. 178-190. ISBN 0415897726 Item availability may be restricted.|
Conference or Workshop Item
|Hook, Alan and Barrios-O'Neill, Danielle (2015) Future Energy Networks and the Role of Interactive Gaming as Simulation. In: Renewable Futures RIXC, 8-10 October, 2015, Riga, Latvia.|
|Barrios-O'Neill, Danielle (2015) Social networks and the energy landscape: Toward a dynamic communications model. In: Energy Landscapes: Perception, Planning, Participation, Power, September 16-18, 2015, Dresden, Germany.|
|Fox, Neil (2018) Podcasting: New Aural Cultures and Digital Media. Palgrave Macmillan, https://www.palgrave.com/gb/book/9783319900551. ISBN ISBN 978-3-319-90055-1|
|Barrios-O'Neill, Danielle and Hook, Alan (2011) [in]visible belfast. [Exhibition]|
|Garrett, Conor and Barrios-O'Neill, Danielle (2016) BBC Radio 4 / Radio Ulster Stories in Sound: Invisible Belfast. [Media]|
|Barrios-O'Neill, Danielle and Heholt, Ruth (2018) Revenant: Critical and Creative Studies of the Supernatural. Special Issue: CROSS-PLATFORM STUDIES OF SONIC AUDIO AND HORROR. [Journal]|
Current research students
- Daniel O'Carroll. Writing the New Heritage: A Bakhtinian Challenge to Authorised Heritage Discourse.
- Jane Moss. Joined-Up Writers: The Potentials of Digital Media in Co-Authorship of the Community Novel.
- Joskaude Pakalkaite. Development of Noise-free Digital Interfaces to Benefit Large Information Technology Companies.
- Jerry Padfield. Broadening Participation in Community Radio: Overcoming Barriers through Digital Technology.
- Paul Harwood. Realising Blockchain: Social Capital in the Business Models of the Future.
Research degrees examined
- Carolyn Arnold (2018) Using Storytelling to Promote Pro-Environmental Behaviour in Cornish Businesses.
Number of research degree examinations1
Areas of teaching
- Digital Games Theory and Design
- digital marketing
- Transmedia Storytelling
- Cultural Theory
- Consumer Behaviour
- Arts in Society
- Social Entrepreneurship
- BA(Hons) Business and Entrepreneurship
- BA(Hons) Business and Management
- BA(Hons) Business and Digital Marketing
- MA in Entrepreneurship
Business start ups
Superblue. Our teams have experience building and deploying digital strategy within organisational parameters and with respect to existing company processes in the US and the UK. We have had success managing integrated communications for a diverse array of companies and industries, and we have particular interest in working with startups and small businesses on both sides of the pond. Previous clients include SquadUP, Sproutvideo, Conscious Magazine, TRED, Qumu, Eighty81, GetInvited, GitLab and others.
Consultancy and facility services
Digital marketing and consulting (see above).
Social, community and cultural engagement
- Alan Hook and Danielle Barrios (with Ciaran Carson and Glenn Patterson) (2011). Constellations of Belfast. Crescent Arts Centre. Belfast Book Festival 2011. [interactive fiction installation] Role: Writer, co-producer.
- Danielle Barrios-O’Neill and Alan Hook (2011). The Water Clock. The Brian Friel Theatre. QUB/UU. [interactive theatre]. Role: Writer, co-producer.
- Danielle Barrios-O’Neill and Alan Hook (2011). [in]visible Belfast. QUB/UU. Belfast Book Festival. [alternate reality gaming]. Role: Writer, co-producer.
- Danielle Barrios-O’Neill and Conor Garrett (2016). Invisible Belfast. BBC Radio 4. [radio documentary]. Role: Writer, presenter.
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