A promotional stall for an upcoming video game at the Tokyo Games Show left attendees and netizens scratching their heads as they tried to work out if a troupe of human-like androids were real people or just incredibly realistic robots.
The stunt, held at a booth showing off upcoming PS4-exclusive Detroit: Become Human, featured several 'robot people' whose stiff, uncanny movements and eerie gazes quickly became the talk of the show.
Video footage of the robo-troupe was later shared on YouTube and Twitter with particular focus on a female 'android'. This led to a heated debate on social media, with many believing that the woman was indeed an artificial human.
"This just MIGHT be a genuine android by Sony," wrote one YouTube user, while another simply asked: "human or robot?"
In the human camp, several users on Twitter pointed to the blue rings as evidence of the publicity stunt and highlighted the female robot's minor facial movements as a sign that she was miming the whole thing.
As eerily convincing as the androids may have been to some, the team behind the sci-fi game later confirmed the obvious: the 'robots' were real people mimicking the AP700 model automatons that will feature in the title when it launches in 2018.
"This is a Cyberlife creation impersonated by a real human being," developer Quantic Dream's community manager, Alia Chikhdene, told The Independent.
Eagle-eyed netizens later found the Instagram profile of the actress that had caused such a stir online going by the name "saotvos". Her profile page contains numerous modelling photos as well as a shot taken on the TGS 2017 show floor.
Detroit: Become Human is the latest title from Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls director David Cage. It tells the story of three android protagonists and looks set to explore the kind of well-worn cyberpunk themes you'd expect from a Blade Runner-esque video game.
"In this world, technology made possible the creation of androids that look, speak, and move exactly like human beings," Cage said in an interview about the game earlier this year. "And they have replaced humans in most of their jobs."