A couple of weeks ago, I posted a tidbit on ScreenRecycler, an app that allows you to use another Mac's screen as a second display. In it, I theorized that ScreenRecycler could allow on-screen keyboard and scan panel users to play inaccessible fullscreen games by letting them display the game on their main Mac's screen and control it on another with their access software. Soon after, I downloaded the app and put my idea to the test, configuring my PowerBook as a virtual second screen for my iMac. Unfortunately, things didn't work out quite like I hoped - Although ScreenRecycler worked remarkably well with very good response time over ethernet, the virtual screen turned black with the two fullsscreen game demos I tried (Tomb Raider: Anniversary and LEGO Star Wars II), blocking access to KeyStrokes on-screen keyboard and making my experiment a bust.
With both computers side by side, I made an interesting discovery. While fiddling with my PowerBook over Leopard's built-in screen sharing, I noticed that, although there is a "visual" delay in the screen sharing window, all clicks, key presses, and mouse movements occur immediately, even over WiFi. Quickly, I switched my trackball from the iMac to the PowerBook, started a screen sharing session, and opened the LEGO Star Wars II demo. From my PowerBook, using KeyStrokes, I was able to control the game perfectly on the iMac, noticing the same level of response as with my Bluetooth keyboard. Next, I tried the Tomb Raider: Anniversary demo, which, again, was very responsive, but proved difficult to play. As the mouse controls the camera in the game, every time I went to click a key on KeyStrokes the view would get messed up, making things very disorienting. When playing fullscreen games through this setup, both computers had to be within my field of vision, as the screen sharing window does not refresh fast enough to watch gameplay. Additionally, I found it helpful to move the screen sharing window off to the side to avoid distraction. Although this method is not as perfect as having KeyStrokes right over the game window, it opens up some exciting gaming opportunities. Check it out!
- Joe Barnick, AssistiveGaming.com