To empower, inform, and provide educational and charitable services to disabled persons and their support structures regarding accessibility of video game hardware and software; focusing on education and advocacy of issues.
DAGERSystem was founded in 2012 as a site focused on holistic games journalism through the lens of game accessibility. We approach our Accessibility Game Reviews with a wide view that attempts to inform gamers with disabilities of the general accessibility of each title. First and foremost, we understand that accessibility is inherently subjective, and we hope to provide our readers with a starting point for evaluating a game’s accessibility. In order to accomplish this, we actively seek out and recruit physically disabled writers with a broad range of abilities and challenges for our game reviews. Everyone who writes for DAGERSystem receives training on how to evaluate games for accessibility regarding disabilities they may not have.
It is our hope to create an ecosystem where professionals with disabilities are hired because their disability gives them a unique perspective on the challenges facing disabled gamers. With your help, we will continue to work towards a future where everyone, regardless of ability, can play and enjoy games.
We believe that in order to be an effective nonprofit, DAGERSystem must not engage in any activity that portrays persons with disabilities in a way that’s calculated to elicit sympathy or pity. In all our interactions, we seek to portray persons with disabilities with the same level of dignity and respect due any human being. We believe disabilities are medical conditions, the symptoms of which can be alleviated through engineering and design, but that the disabilities themselves remain present even in accessible ecosystems.
We believe the goal of educating consumers regarding the accessibility of video games requires intimate understanding of both disabled communities and game development communities. To that end, we will never take a confrontational stance that criticizes a developer for their vision, even if that vision is not accessible. We will, wherever possible, employ tact and kindness when educating developers and consumers about accessibility and when interacting with various communities, and at no point will our stance be that of an opponent.
At the end of his internship with GameInformer magazine, Josh Straub graduated from Southwest Minnesota State University with a degree in creative writing and history. His earliest gaming memories are of looking over his father’s shoulder while he played Warcraft 2. While these experiences gave him a deep appreciation for the RTS genre, Josh seeks to play games across all genres and platforms due to his interest in game accessibility for the disabled. This interest stems from too many experiences in which he has hurled his controller across the room after finding out that a game was inaccessible due to his Cerebral Palsy. Because of his wide exposure and interest in games, Josh appreciates the story of a game more than any other element, especially because the stories of the games of his childhood provided him with an invaluable sense of escape from his disability.
Michael Matlock developed a passionate interest in technology and has sharpened his love of video games since the ripe old age of four. Though born with the autosomal genetic disorder, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, honing his tech and gaming interests helped him cope with the ongoing degeneration of his spinal motor neurons and weakening muscular system. Michael firmly believes in the validity of gaming as an art form and enjoys both the atmosphere and soundtrack of a title as much as the gameplay itself. While entertained by a wide-variety of games, the Horror and Role-playing genres have repeatedly piqued Michael’s interest. The Persona series, in particular, had a profound impact on his life. After writing reviews for ablegamers.com for several years, Michael created his own YouTube channel, using The Crippled Critic alias, to highlight the importance of game accessibility. Most recently, Michael was asked to speak on the topic at Gwinnett College. The lack of control options in games and the tendency get rid of legacy controls, motivated him to help give other disabled gamers information about a game before they buy it. Today, Michael finds a lack of auto-aim to be a particular design annoyance. And though rapidly changing, Michael favors games developed on the PlayStation 4 and the PC platforms due to the additional options disabled gamers have to address a publisher’s oversights.
Carlos A. Moscoso was born in 1988, and his fondest memories as a gamer are those of long Split-Screen multiplayer sessions with his brothers and neighbors on Goldeneye 007 for the Nintendo 64. The rise of a secondary analog stick in gaming has created a barrier for him recently, particularly in the First and third-person shooter genres, as a result of being born with Cerebral Palsy. Due to this, he has become an ardent supporter of developers who include legacy controls in their titles. In 2012 after struggling to complete Duke Nukem Forever due to difficult quick-time events and no aim assist, he wrote to Randy Pitchford of Gearbox Software to voice his concerns. Mr. Pitchford was so moved, he vowed he’d seek out a wider range of disabilities for play-testing. Carlos has both the Playstation 4 and Xbox One, he favors the RPG genre for its choice-driven storytelling ability and lack of quick-time events.