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Move Over, Karaoke, Here Comes Virtual Heavy Metal


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MOVE OVER, KARAOKE, HERE COMES VIRTUAL HEAVY METAL

Is rock 'n roll stardom beyond your reach--but still your dream? Well, let go of that air guitar and check out Virtual Music. This CD-ROM-based interactive game employs a mock guitar that you play while your PC shows full-sound videos of the rest of your band playing such tunes as Wild Thing. The computer can tell when you hit sour notes, and animated fans will rate your performance with cheers and jeers, sending you up the ladder from garage gigs to stadium rock--or dumping you into the polyester lounge.

The brainchild of Ahead Inc., a Newton (Mass.) startup, Virtual Music is scheduled for release in October for IBM-compatible PCs. Versions for the Sega CD System and Apple Macintosh will follow next year. Compact disks containing four to six songs will run $40 to $100, and the mock guitar goes for $70. The game is being developed with animation by film studio Palomar Pictures, producer of music videos for Janet Jackson and Billy Idol. Uh huh.EDITED BY RICHARD BRANDT


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