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HYPE

COMPUTER CHICK

OK, girl, it's your turn to grab the mouse and run with it. "Rockett's New School" and "Secret Paths in the Forest" are new CD-ROMs designed for pre-teens, but even 18-year-olds will think they're pretty cool.

Rockett is an eighth-grader who, depending on the choices you make, can be unsure, assertive, opportunistic, impulsive, cunning or self-defeating. It's your job to lead her through more than 50 social scenarios and help her build relationships with a cast of quirky characters -- from beauty queens and cliquers to dweebs and outcasts. In "Secret Paths," you'll find the same characters in a treehouse, where they tell you their deepest fears and feelings.

Both CD-ROMs are from girl-gaming company Purple Moon, which has a cool new Web site (www.purple-moon.com). The site gives TV fans a chance to script their own mini-dramas, like plots for the fictitious girls of Whistling Pines Junior High.

RAP REFRESHER

Remember the summer of '89? Of course, you don't -- y'all were still carrying Spider Man lunch boxes to school. But back then, a guy named Young MC had the whole U.S. shakin' with his hip-hop hit "Bust a Move." Young MC is back to show you what all the hype was about with his new disc "Return of the One-Hit Wonder" (Overall Records).

The record is filled with the kind of party jams that rocketed Young MC to a Grammy and an American Music Award eight years ago. But it's not like the man has been resting on his trophies. Young MC laid down the theme song and a few shorter raps for the CBS' new season of "Sports Illustrated for Kids Show." He also spent the summer talking to kids in Los Angeles about bringing the positive side of rap back to America's youth.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"I like that all the kids on the show are very real looking. It's not all "90210'd" out."

-- Kristy Swanson talks about TV's "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" on AOL. She had the killer role in the '92 "Buffy" movie.
-- Knight-Ridder

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