Competition is admittedly tight but the recently released Boku-Kara must surely rank with hydrogen-powered roller skates, brain-stimulating armchairs and self-driving slippers as being among the greats of over-engineered Japanese entertainment. The concept, which has been doing the rounds at trade shows and has the feel of something cooked up in the final minutes of an otherwise unproductive off-site meeting, combines boxing, virtual reality (VR) and karaoke. You warble, you punch with motion-sensitive gloves and, via an algorithm, the activities reinforce one another. A VR headset pits two players in a virtual boxing ring as animated opponents, fighting while song lyrics flash across the screen. The louder you belt out Taylor Swift or Ed Sheeran, the harder your punches land. The aim of the game is to sing-punch your foe to a knockout. Boku-Kara may never take off but it is undoubtedly the direction in which karaoke — that most Japanese interface between technology and entertainmen...

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