In the Works

By Albert Kim
October 28, 1994 at 04:00 AM EDT

See me. Feel me. Touch me. Heal me. Was there ever a greater plea for interactivity?

Tommy, the Who’s rock opera-turned-movie-turned- Broadway musical, has been reinvented once more, this time as a CD-ROM. The Who’s Tommy, due in March from RoundBook Publishing Group, will let you explore the origins of the messianic pinball wizard’s story, compare versions of the songs, and sift through every detail of the 25-year life of that deaf, dumb, and blind kid.

Pete Townshend — now discussing other projects with RoundBook — says he’s enthralled by the new technology as well by what he has to gain from it. ”Whenever Tommy has another incarnation,” he says, ”it tends to feed me with hard cash … It gives me more space to be … more arrogant and less commercial, and therefore more dangerous in what I do.”

*What if Lee Harvey Oswald had missed? That’s the premise of Reelect JFK, a CD-ROM mystery-political simulation due in December from Quadra Interactive. You assume the role of John F. Kennedy in November 1963, and your goal is to defeat Barry Goldwater. Along the way, you’ve got to articulate a policy on civil rights and take care of a messy situation in Vietnam. You can also try to figure out who was behind the assassination attempt. Note to Oliver Stone: It’s only a game.

*Later this month, Compton’s NewMedia will release The Complete Multimedia Bible on CD-ROM, narrated by James Earl Jones. Imagine the voice of Darth Vader intoning, ”Suffer the little children” or ”Vengeance is mine.” Talk about putting the fear of God in you.