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SOSOCAL

Pam For Your Palm

March 25, 2001|LESLEE KOMAIKO

When it comes to sheer celebrity, Pamela Anderson ranks pretty high. But most people would agree that the film roles she has chosen thus far (including 1995's "Naked Souls" and 1996's "Barb Wire") aren't exactly Academy Award material. Still, she's got a shot at an Oskar.

Actually, it's not Anderson herself who's in the running, but an equally well-endowed digital miniature version known as PortaPam-- basically a Tamagotchi-style electronic pet who lives in your hand-held computer. The fictional award for which she is eligible--a safe play on the name of the trademarked statuette--is one of several props in PortaPam's on-screen world.

PortaPam is produced by Eruptor, a Marina del Rey-based media company, under an agreement with Anderson. Since PortaPam was introduced in January, approximately 70,000 people have either downloaded it from the Web (www.pamtv.com) to their personal digital assistants or had it beamed to them from another Palm, Visor or Clie. (The first 48 hours are free. After that, she's $4.99.)

While PortaPam's needs are fairly simple, she does require proper tending. This means keeping her away from paparazzi, getting her to the gym regularly and feeding her smoothies instead of pizza. Insist on the latter and PortaPam occasionally looks at her rear end and asks, "Do I look fat?" With persistent inattention, she gets lethargic and even sick.

Perhaps the user's most important responsibility comes in making sure PortaPam chooses the right gigs. Accepting an offer to play "a cancer-stricken paralyzed nun in a TV movie," for example, could promptly send PortaPam from "A-list" to "B-list." And don't make the mistake of giving PortaPam a fur coat--like her living, breathing counterpart, she's an active PETA member. "Sorry," PortaPam says, declining the gift, "please try again."

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