Cd Ro Ms For The Ponytail Set

Viva doesn't think she's as pretty as the other girls in school. Darnetta frets that mom likes her sister best. And Miko believes she has to hide how smart she is from her friends. They are among the characters populating the new Secret Paths in the Forest CD-ROM from Purple Moon, a Silicon Valley company producing software for preteen girls. The game's fictional characters are based on the personality profiles of actual 7- to 12-year-olds. They will be "as real to girls as their best friends," says Brenda Laurel, Purple Moon's vice-president for design. "This is a good game to build teamwork," notes Leigh Arnold, 12, one of several preteen girls who evaluated new girls' software titles for BUSINESS WEEK.

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