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Professor Melanie Swalwell

Professor, Digital Media Heritage


Melanie Swalwell is Professor of Digital Media Heritage in the Centre for Transformative Media Technologies at Swinburne University. Melanie’s research focuses on the creation, use, preservation, and legacy of complex digital artefacts such as videogames and media artworks.

Currently, Melanie is leading two Digital Media Heritage and Preservation ARC Linkage projects: “Play It Again: Preserving Australian videogame history of the 1990s” (see, and “Archiving Australian Media Arts: Towards a best practice method and national collection” (see In addition, she is Project Leader for "The Australian Emulation Network: Born Digital Cultural Collections Access", an ARC LIEF awarded to a consortium of universities and GLAM organisations (see An ARC Future Fellow from 2014-18, Melanie continues to research "Creative Micro-computing in Australia, 1976-92".

Melanie manages the running of the Digital Heritage Lab at Swinburne, a collection of functioning vintage computer hardware and facilities for the imaging of disks originally set up by Dr Denise de Vries, now directed by Dr Cynde Moya.

Melanie is the author of Homebrew Gaming and the Beginnings of Vernacular Digitality (MIT Press), as well as many chapters and articles on the histories of digital games. She is the editor of Game History and the Local (Palgrave, 2021), and co-editor of Fans and Videogames: Histories, fandom, archives (with Helen Stuckey and Angela Ndalianis, Routledge, 2017), and The Pleasures of Computer Gaming: Essays on cultural history, theory and aesthetics (with Jason Wilson, McFarland, 2008).

PhD candidate and honours supervision

Higher degrees by research

Accredited to supervise Masters & Doctoral students as Principal Supervisor.

Fields of Research

  • Screen And Digital Media - 360500


Also published as: Swalwell, Melanie; Swalwell, M.
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: The Australian Emulation Network: Born Digital Cultural Collections Access *; ARC Linkage Infrastructure and Equipment Scheme
  • 2022: Emulation Stations at National Communications Museum *; National Communications Museum Fund Scheme
  • 2020: Archiving Australian Media Arts: Towards a method and national collection *; ARC Linkage Projects Scheme
  • 2020: Play It Again: Preserving Australian videogame history of the 1990s *; ARC Linkage Projects Scheme
  • 2014: Creative Micro-computing in Australia, 1976-1992 *; ARC Future Fellowships

* Chief Investigator