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I'd like to be able to use my computer while my boyfriend plays a game on steam. I have two monitors and he's using a Xbox 360 controller hooked up to my pc.

Is it possible to allow the game to be active for the controller while other applications are active for my keyboard / mouse?

7

It is highly unlikely to accomplish this (though technically possible in theory).

Computers generally only focus on one window or application at a time. The window that is active is the only one that receives input from the keyboard/mouse, and (almost always) the controller. This is why you can play a game in one monitor with a text editor open in the other monitor and not have to worry typing garbled text there. The computer would only send input keys to one application at a time: the one with focus.

There are two ways to circumvent this, which may or may not be options (most likely not):

  1. The game in question is specifically designed to continue running and receive input after losing focus: Most games are specifically designed the exact opposite of this. Usually games are designed to pause when it loses focus.
  2. You have a third party application that governs input methods and routes them to the appropriate window: I'm not aware of such an application, but I anticipate it could potentially exist out there somewhere.

Given the complexity of the configuration at hand, it would likely be easier to either obtain a second computer, or take turns using the one you have.

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There's no technical reason this shouldn't work, but it depends on how the games are implemented.

It's trivially easy to write a program that accepts input from a game controller even when it doesn't have keyboard focus. However, if a game isn't written to do this there's no easy way to fix it to work the way you want.

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