Entertainment

Avatar Secrets: How a virtual life can save a real one

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“It’s like we’re living in the science fiction future right now, and the real stories are more incredible than fiction.”

Producer/director Ramona Pringle, 31, took her words to heart when she created Avatar Secrets, an exciting 10-part interactive documentary project that is being developed as an iPad-based app.

Avatar Secrets is set in both the real world and the virtual world and is a combination of Pringle’s real-life memoir, a graphic e-novel, and a documentary.

The premise of Avatar Secrets: If we dig a little deeper into the allure of video games and technology maybe we will uncover some of what we’re missing in the real world.

Avatar Secrets is a bold project and certainly one of the reasons why Pringle was recently named one of Playback’s 10 2 Watch in the new age.

Pringle has worked as an actor and was in movies including Shoot ’Em Up and Cinderella Man. She has a master’s degree in interactive telecommunications from New York University and today teaches interactive storytelling at Ryerson University. She has worked as a multi-platform producer for CBC, TVO, CTV and PBS.

Pringle has worked as an actor and was in movies including Shoot ’Em Up and Cinderella Man. She has a master’s degree in interactive telecommunications from New York University and today teaches interactive storytelling at Ryerson University. She has worked as a multi-platform producer for CBC, TVO, CTV and PBS.

Her other major project at this time is rdigitallife.com, an online hub that explores what it means to be human in today’s digital world.

Here are Pringle’s tips for living in the digital world:

The big draw of all our technologies is each other, so focus on the person, not the technology

Choose when and how to connect with people. For a heart-to-heart, nothing beats face-to-face; for conversing with an overseas relative, Skype may be best; for making plans with a friend, IM.

Engage fully whether you’re online or offline

We are living in what I call the “hybrid reality” — constantly straddling the “real” world and the “digital” world. The challenge is to make sure that being in both worlds doesn’t mean that we don’t fully engage in either. Choose where you want to focus your attention — whether you’re looking into a screen or someone else’s eyes.

Empower yourself — don’t let gadgets and apps control you

We have this reflex of checking messages when lights flash or there’s a ping. Technology is here to stay but we can choose how, when, and where we engage instead of letting the machines make the decisions for us.

Social Media Week

Social Media Week is now an international event with a goal to capture, curate and share ideas, trends and best practices in how technology and social media are impacting business, society and culture. Social Media Week Toronto runs until Friday. For more information, visit socialmediaweek.org/Toronto.

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