Project: Control your games at a distance from the PC.
Why you’d attempt it: So you can enjoy your PC games from the comfort of a lounge, on the big screen TV.
Difficulty factor: Easy to medium
Links: http://joytokey.webs.com/, http://www.eventghost.org/
The real challenge to setting up your PC – be it a desktop or a laptop – in the lounge room is controlling it. You don’t want a long keyboard cable dangling between the PC that you’ve hooked up to the TV and your keyboard. You may also want to use a joystick to control your games in the fashion of consoles. So you need to go through three stages:
Stage 1: The keyboard and mouse. A Bluetooth keyboard and mouse will do the trick – there are plenty of them available. Because your lounge room likely doesn’t have a good surface for mouse control, you might want to go with an integrated solution, such as a keyboard with built-in Touchpad. But perhaps a better solution is a wireless trackball such as the Logitech M570, which gives relatively fast and precise control. It’s certainly no mouse, and movements tend to be jittery, but it beats a Touchpad for gaming.
Stage 2: Hooking up a joystick. Let’s face it: consoles have better gaming controllers than are available for Windows. So why not use your console controller? The Xbox 360 Wireless Gaming Controller lets your wireless Xbox 360 controllers (including wheels and headsets) talk to your PC.
Stage 3: The software. Windows joysticks work great with certain supported games, like racing games and are fantastic for emulators. But of lot of games don’t natively support joystick control. That’s where an application like JoyToKey comes in. This allows you to link specific controller buttons to keyboard keys, and to use the analogue controller as a mouse replacement. It won’t be nearly as precise as your mouse, and you might have to tone down the game’s difficulty level, but it’s often more fun than using a keyboard and mouse. Alternatively, you can try Event Ghost an automation tool that links device events (such as a remote control button press) with control scripts. You can accomplish some pretty amazing things with Event Ghost, if you take the time to set it up – though that can be a little technical. You could even program your Media Center remote to act as a controller for games, with different buttons representing different hot keys.
And now you should be ready to go. Enjoy gaming from the comfort of your lounge.
If you've connected your PC games to your TV, share your tips below.