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Being a quad, online gaming has opened a whole new world to me as well as introduced me to many new friends. With a little imagination and experimenting, almost any game is playable, but there is a feature that is available on most 3 button mice that is invaluable to game play called "Draglock"
What is "Draglock"?
Draglock is a mapping that is available in the software drivers of most mice and trackballs. It allows the middle button when clicked once to act as if the the left button is being held to drag something on your desk top. a second click releases it. Here's a simple example using the card game Solitary. If you have a 7 to put on an 8, you put the cursor on the 7, hold the left mouse button, "drag" the 7 to the 8 and let go of the left mouse button to "drop" the 7 on the 8. With draglock, you put the cursor on the 7, click the middle button once which "locks" the cursor on the 7, allowing you to now drag the 7 to the 8, where you again press the middle button to "release" the 7.
How does this affect Accessible Gaming?
There are many medical conditions (such as Quadriplegia or Multiple Sclerosis) that make finger movement difficult if not impossible. I've shown how I get around this problem, but draglock is an important feature for gaming. In FPS games (First Person Shooters) I can't hold the left button and fire at the same time without this feature. Don't worry though, it DOESN'T lock the crosshairs on a target, it just acts as if I'm holding the left button for a sustained burst. in RTS games (Real Time Strategy) it allows me to select multiple characters by dragging the cursor across the screen.
Why Are You Telling Us This?
There are many FPS and RTS out there right now that look so cool but are extremely difficult or unplayable for me because the draglock feature doesn't work. Whether it is done on purpose or just a programming conflict, I'm not sure. One theory is Anti-cheat programs disable it, that's something I'm investigating now. Another theory is it might be the game itself disabling the mouse drivers themselves to use in-game drivers. If this is the case, all the developer has to do is and an "enable middle button draglock" option in control setup. Now all I'm trying to do is just make developers aware of this and a grass roots campaign is the best way I can think of. I know of a couple of games already, (unfortunately I bought one, played for a while, did an auto-update and lost the draglock :(, making the game an expensive waste of hard drive space) If you know of any games that draglock doesn't work in, please let me know. In the next couple of days I'll post a list with games and E-mail addresses so we can make developers aware of this.
Thanks to all who have written to me. I love your letters and greatly appreciate your support!
I received a response
to one of the many forums I've visited on how to get draglock in Half Life
2 based games. Here it is:
alias lockOn "+attack;
alias lock lockOff"
Now when you hit fire, it locks until you hit fire again!
Another option is available now. By using a voice control program like the one I mentioned in links, you can fire a sustained burst by programming a command for fire (I used "shot" for single, "fire" for sustained) that is set on repeat until command is said again. There is a slight lag, which is why I still prefer to use the mouse, but it does work on games that don't have draglock! (Medal of Honor and Battlefield series, you've been informed. It's up to you now)