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(Photo: Paul Watson)

What’s the emotional difference between shutting your computer down and putting to sleep? Or turning your phone onto silent mode instead of switching it off?

I need some input from you all (aka comments) on this one.

I’m interested in this because I’m thinking about the idea of closure when it comes to interactive experiences. Stories end, usually, with a return to equilibrium and it feels irksome when they don’t. Everyone has had the experience of watching a film and suddenly the credits roll and you think, “Huh? Was that it?” (with the exception of French and Japanese films where nothing actually happens anyway).

What makes you stop interacting with something? Is it getting the task done? Is it boredom? The bus arriving? What’s the emotional feeling at the end of it?

I feel sure there is an emotional difference between turning your computer or phone off as opposed to sleeping/muting it. There is definitely an emotional reaction when it shuts down or crashes of its own accord.

What’s your take on this? Do you have any examples of this be handled, managed, designed in good or bad ways?

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