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.