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I often had trouble with Ctrl and Shift modifiers while playing games (maybe this is gnome specific). For example if I press and hold Ctrl to crouch and I press 3 to select some gun while crouching I get in game menu (which is triggered by Esc).

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Remove bindings (keys will still work in game)

xmodmap -e 'remove Control = Control_L'
xmodmap -e 'remove shift = Shift_L'

add bindings back again after you are done playing game

xmodmap -e 'add Control = Control_L'
xmodmap -e 'add shift = Shift_L'
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