LA Noire is the new game from Rockstar Games, the notorious publisher of Grand Theft Auto. This guardian article describes it as “a new era for interactive entertainment.”, where the gameplay is not about is not about hand-eye coordination but about emotional perception, being able to judge body language and facial “tells”.

The thing is, what will the “true” meaning of the facial expressions in the game be based on? Will the correct judgements be based on the game-designers’ intepretation of what different facial expressions mean? If so, how can we trust that they have the correct intepretation? It isn’t straightforward to read meaning from expressions. Even people who think they are experts at it can be wrong, and many of the clues popularity associated with deception, such as gaze aversion, don’t truly help you tell truth from lies (see the work of Aldert Vrij, at Portsmouth).

It might be that we end up playing a game where you learn to intepret what Rockstar games believes about what people look like when they lie, rather than practice any real world emotional perception