Spotlight on Dr Daniela De Angeli

CAMERA Spotlight on Dr Daniela De Angeli

Dr Daniela De Angeli is a postdoctoral researcher in human computer interaction, cultural heritage, games and memory studies at the University of Bath. During her doctorate at the Centre for Digital Entertainment (CDE), she explored how authenticity and entertainment can coexist in contemporary museums through game creation and game play. She is currently investigating the use of games to stimulate dialogue and social reflection in difficult heritage sites.

We caught up with Daniela to find out more about her recent publications and research, with CAMERA Co-Director Prof Eamonn O’Neill, into whether games have a positive influence in players’ behaviour, and if so, how they can be designed for social impact.

In November 2019 Daniela attended the first GAME Science Winter School (GAMES WIS) a residential workshop dedicated to game science (game design, game studies, game theory). GAME WIS was organised by the Game Science Research Center (GAME.SCI RE.CENTER), an inter-university research centre with its headquarters at IMT School of Advanced Studies Lucca. The Centre was created in 2019 with the goal of promoting, supporting and spreading scientific research within the Game Science field. During the event Daniela developed a card game to bring awareness about more sustainable meat consumption. The game will be submitted to the conference “Meaningful Play”

Daniela is also the recipient of an Erasmus+ Staff Mobility Grant to run a study in collaboration with RISE Research Centre and the Cyprus University of Technology. At the end of February 2020, she will visit Cyrpus to: (1) carry out a study to investigate interaction modalities with holograms; (2) run 2 seminars about game research; and (3) support a lecture about inclusive design (i.e. “Design for all”).

Her most recent publications are:

D. De Angeli & E. O’Neill,  Towards a gameful museum: empowering museum professionals via playing and making games, International Journal of the Inclusive Museum.

Many museums are embracing digital technologies as a way to drive visits and remain relevant, yet some are still struggling to re-think their exhibitions and design interactive experiences. In this paper we investigate whether game playing and making can empower museum professionals and promote the design of new interactive experiences. Two case studies were designed with this aim: (1) a game play session with curators of the National Trust UK, and (2) a game-making workshop with museum professionals from a range of institutions. The first case study encouraged dialogue and creativity, supporting the development of a new interactive narrative. Through the second case study, museum professionals gained experience as game developers and increased their confidence with the development of interactive experiences.

The International Journal of the Inclusive Museum addresses the key question: How can the institution of the museum become more inclusive? The journal brings together academics, curators, museum and public administrators, cultural policy makers, and research students to engage in discussions about the historic character and future shape of the museum

D. De Angeli, R. Kelly & E. O’Neill (in press) Beyond happy-or-not: using emoji to capture visitors’ emotional experience, Curator: The Museum Journal.

Museums are emotionally driven sites. People visit museums to feel and their emotions influence how the museum and its artefacts are perceived. Thus, evaluating emotional states are increasingly important for museums. However, evaluating visitors’ experiences is increasingly challenging, especially with the introduction of new and emerging technology. Moreover, people’s behaviour is not strictly objective and rational. While emotional states are subjective and hard to verbalize or observe, emoji are often used to express emotions on mobile and smartphone messaging applications. In this paper we investigate whether emoji can capture emotional states elicited by museum experiences, supporting traditional methods such as interviews. While other non-verbal self-report methods have been used to evaluate emotions, this is the first tool of this kind designed specifically to measure emotions elicited by museum experiences. We designed a set of 9 emoji illustrating a variety of emotional states beyond happy-or-not. Then, we confirmed that participants understood our emoji’s intended concept using a word association task. Finally, we used our 9 emoji to evaluate an interactive museum experience. We also run interviews and we investigated the correspondence between participants’ comments and the emoji they chose. Through this study we gained a better understanding of how the emoji can be deployed to capture a range of visitors’ emotional experiences. Our findings suggest that emoji can capture which emotional states participants felt beyond the happy-or-not dichotomy, but that they should be complemented with traditional methods such as interviews to understand why specific emotions were felt.

Curator: The Museum Journal is a forum for exploration and debate of urgent issues in the museum field among museum professionals, scholars, and students.

You can find out more about Daniela’s work at

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