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Expert Says “L.A. Noire” Could Be Helpful for Those with Asperger’s Syndrome

Expert Says “L.A. Noire” Could Be Helpful for Those with Asperger’s Syndrome  (photo)

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Part of what makes L.A. Noire such an unexpected blast to play is how it takes something players do everyday turns it into gameplay and then amps the stakes to a level of guilt or innocence. You stare at the characters’ faces, listen to their answers and either choose to believe them or not. Despite the heavily fictionalized context, it relies on a life skill most of us use on a regular basis.

There are those, however, who can’t call on that skill. Sufferers of Asperger’s Syndrome have difficulty discerning truth from lies. If a person has the autism-spectrum disorder, then they won’t be as able to imagine the interior landscape or motives of someone other than themselves. In an inspired bit of reporting, Joystiq offers the opinions of an Asperger’s expert who says that playing “L.A. Noire” could help AS sufferers work on their interpersonal skills. Professor Tony Attwood makes the case that a game where what you see isn’t necessarily what you get like “L.A Noire” could help a group of people unavoidably inclined to take others at face value. Attwood–the author of “The Complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome”–says the thing about “Noire” that could help is the part of the game that reveals that a suspect or person of interest is actually lying. From Joystiq:

“I think those with Asperger’s syndrome would actually find the game quite fascinating as although the player is expected to make a decision on whether someone may be lying, there is the possibility of reviewing and replaying the scene to confirm whether the response was correct or identify the characteristics should a mistake have been made,” he said.

In fact, Attwood said he would recommend the game to those with Asperger’s as a way to learn more about human interaction. The most effective way might be to play alongside a friend or relative who could, as Attwood put it, “give feedback and guidance on the characteristics to look for to determine whether someone is lying or not.”

Now, by no means is “L.A. Noire” any kind of diagnostic tool for those afflicted with Asperger’s. But Attwood’s comments do bear out a bit of the ambition that Team Bondi had when making the game, namely that being able to read behavior could be as important to a video game as shooting and driving skills. I, for one, am certainly not going to take the ability to tell “Truth” from “Doubt” from “Lie” for granted in real life anymore.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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