Profile image for Dan Golding

Associate Professor Dan Golding

Acting Chair, Media and Communications
PhD (Screen Studies), The University of Melbourne, Australia; Bachelor of Arts (Hons), The University of Melbourne, Australia


I am Associate Professor and Acting Chair of the Department of Media and Communications at Swinburne University of Technology, as well as an award-winning composer, broadcaster, and writer.

As a researcher and teacher, I am interested in the interaction between media technology and history, with a particular emphasis on cinema, videogames, and soundtracks. Here at Swinburne I largely teach final year Cinema and Screen units, and previously spent many years running our first year Introduction to Media Studies unit. A little bit about me:

  • I am a widely-published author and researcher. My latest book is Star Wars After Lucas (2019), a monograph published by the University of Minnesota Press, which traces the development of the Star Wars franchise under Disney. In 2016 I co-authored my first book, Game Changers: From Minecraft to Misogyny, the Fight for the Future of Videogames for Affirm Press with Leena van Deventer. I have published academic work on special effects (digital faces and deepfakes), VR, videogames, and blockbuster cinema in journals like Convergence, TEXT, Senses of Cinema, and Continuum. My full publication list can be found below.
  • I have won both ARC and Industry funding. Currently I am a Chief Investigator on the ARC Discovery project, 'Artistic Practice in Australian Videogame Development' (2023-2025), and have been engaged by the Australian Council for the Arts to undertake 'The Australian Music in Games Benchmark 2023' in collaboration with QUT. Previously, I was a Chief Investigator on the 'Crushed But Okay' project with the Alannah & Madeline Foundation which recieved funding from the Office of the eSafety Commissioner and won the Vice-Chancellor’s Research Excellence Award (Team) in 2022.
  • I am an experienced supervisor of higher-degree research. I have supervised 6 PhDs to completion, including the 2023 Iain Wallace Medal winner for the Most Outstanding Doctorate Student at Swinburne, Dr. Stephanie Harkin.
  • I have a record of world-class creative practice. As a composer, I created the soundtrack for the BAFTA, DICE, and GDCA-winning Untitled Goose Game (2019). The soundtrack album, the first ever from a videogame to be nominated for an ARIA award, was published by Decca Records and on vinyl through iam8bit. In 2022, my music for Untitled Goose Game was performed live by Orchestra Victoria in collaboration with the Australian Centre for the Moving Image in one of the world’s only live-to-game videogame soundtrack performances. This performance was later highlighted by the Australian Federal Government's National Cultural Policy document. Other composing includes the soundtracks for Push Me Pull You (2016) and the Frog Detective series, for which my score for The Haunted Island (2018) won the APRA-AMCOS Australian Game Developer award for Best Music. I also created Swinburne's next_gen now audio brand which you'll hear in all video advertising, and in 2022, I composed the theme music for the ABC's flagship podcast, ABC News Daily.
  • I am a nationally recognised broadcaster. I have hosted ABC Classic's 'Screen Sounds' radio program since 2019, which is broadcast nationally every Sunday. In 2018, I co-presented the 15-part television miniseries What Is Music for ABC iView and Triple J with Linda Marigliano, and in 2015 I wrote and presented A Short History of Videogames for ABC Radio National. I also co-host a podcast about film music called Art of the Score. I make popular video essays about film and music, and my YouTube channel has achieved more than 1.5 million views.
  • I am also an experienced presenter. I have hosted concerts, talks, and events for the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, including hosting a 2022 Sidney Myer Music Bowl concert to a capacity crowd of 10,000 people in 2022. 
  • I am a prolific writer with more than a decade of experience. I have written and published in publications include ABC Arts, The Guardian, The Saturday Paper, Meanjin, The Walkley Magazine, BuzzfeedKill Your Darlings, and Metro Magazine (where I'm currently on the editorial board). My journalism for Crikey saw me awarded the 'Best Games Journalist' award at the 11th Annual Australian IT Journalism 'Lizzie' awards.
  • I have led organisations. I was the Director of the Freeplay Independent Games Festival, Australia's longest-running independent games festival, from 2014-2017, and was a member of the festival's governing board from 2017-2022. Currently, I am Acting Chair of Swinburne's Media and Communication department (2020-present), and since 2020 I have chaired Swinburne's Creative Arts Non-Traditional Research Output (NTRO) panel. I have sat on external and review committees for ACMI, Creative Victoria, and the VCAA.

You can find further information and links to my broadcasting, video essays, podcasts, soundtracks, and books, and profiles of me in the media (including by Limelight Magazine and The Saturday Paper) at

Research interests

Arts and Culture; Media; Video Games

PhD candidate and honours supervision

Higher degrees by research

Accredited to supervise Masters & Doctoral students as Principal Supervisor.

PhD topics and outlines

Atosha McCaw: Sound unleashed: How hardware and software hacking was used by Australian artists in the 1980s and 1990s

Corey Martin: Amplifying the Voices of Historically Underrepresented Australian Women through Podcasting

Dr. Britta Jorgensen: Australia’s podcasting ‘change agents’: A practice-research case study of disruption at the intersection of independent podcasting and narrative journalism (Graduated 2020)

Dr. Cassandra Barkman: Narrative Complexity in Videogames (Graduated 2024)

Dr. Jacqueline Moran: The Hero’s Journey in Player Experiences (Graduated 2020)

Dr. Joel Zika: The History of the Dark Ride (Graduated 2021)

Dr. Stephanie Harkin: Girlhood Games: Gender, Identity, and Coming-of-age in Videogames (Graduated 2023)

Dr. Thomas Stockdale: A Telling Blow: A study of fight choreography in modern Hollywood cinema (Graduated 2022)

Izzie Austin: Revenge Narratives in Teen Films

Taylor Hardwick: Re-imagining safety and community in digital spaces: Online games events during Melbourne’s COVID-19 lockdowns

Vincent Tran: A Brief History of the Shared Universe in Popular Culture

Xuehan Yang: The harmony of tradition and innovation: examining the ‘digital turn' in tertiary music education


Available to supervise honours students.

Fields of Research

  • Computer Gaming And Animation - 360502
  • Cinema Studies - 360501
  • Media Studies - 470107

Teaching areas

Communication, Journalism and Media Studies;Cultural Studies and Literature;Digital Media, Film and Television;Games


  • 2023, National, APRA AMCOS Award for Excellence in Music (Finalist), Australian Game Developer Awards (AGDAs)
  • 2022, Swinburne, Vice-Chancellor’s Research Excellence Award (Team: Anthony McCosker; Dan Golding; Kath Albury; Angus Veitch; Joanna Williams (Crushed but okay)), Swinburne University of Technology
  • 2020, International, Excellence in Audio - Nominated - Untitled Goose Game, Independent Games Festival (IGF)
  • 2020, National, Best Original Soundtrack or Musical Theatre Cast Album (Nominee), ARIA Awards
  • 2020, International, Best Audio - Nominated - Untitled Goose Game, Game Developers Choice Awards (GDCA)
  • 2020, International, Audio Achievement - Nominated - Untitled Goose Game, BAFTA
  • 2019, National, Best Videogame Soundtrack, APRA AMCOS
  • 2013, Other, Excellence in Sessional Teaching, School of Culture and Communication, The University of Melbourne
  • 2013, National, Best Games Journalist, 11th Annual Australian IT Awards ('Lizzies')


Also published as: Golding, Dan; Golding, D.; Golding, Daniel
This publication listing is provided by Swinburne Research Bank. If you are the owner of this profile, you can update your publications using our online form.

Recent research grants awarded

  • 2023: Artistic Practice in Australian Videogame Development *; ARC Discovery Projects Scheme
  • 2023: Australian Music and Games Benchmark 2023 *; Australia Council for the Arts
  • 2020: Improve Your Play *; Office of the eSafety Commissioner
  • 2017: Film Genres in the Digital Age *; VILLAGE ONLINE INVESTMENTS PTY LTD

* Chief Investigator

Recent media