Internet Torn Over Whether This Is a Real Woman or Robot Amid NPC Trend

In a world of Sophias and Lil Miquelas, it can be hard to tell exactly who is a human and who is a robot. One couple making that distinction even harder are Nicki and Loczek, two dancers from Poland who have been confusing the internet.

The couple have been dancing for years but in recent times have grown an online following for their unbelievable versions of "NPC" dancers. NPCs are "non-playable characters" in video games, often seen moving in the same restricted, robot-like fashion.

NPCs are the background characters, used as a tool for the protagonist or simply to aid the story along. In recent months on TikTok, the term has grown in popularity and even been used as an insult, to describe someone who is not important and blends into the background.

Nicki and Loczek
Stills from Nicki and Loczek's TikTok account @loczniki

These two NPCs however have built up a following of 1.9 million, with over 61 million likes across their videos.

"We've danced our whole life and our main style is popping. We are in love with the body movement and we try to analyze it. We love to use different types of illusions to make the movement look more fake," Nicki and Loczek tell Newsweek.

It's proven successful. Viewers are often left stumped as to whether or not the dancing couple are real or simply AI. Their "first date with an NPC" series is by far the most popular, gaining 49 and 30 million views respectively. The videos see them visiting Venice and doing the classic NPC animations, even on a gondola: running to the side, introducing themselves to video game players and attempting to turn into walls.

Other hits see them trying out the dance from Goat Simulator and imitating the various background characters from the Grand Theft Auto series, including old ladies and party scenes.

Thanks to in-depth analysis and illusions, they truly appear as robots. It's something they say even tricks people in real life. "When people see us making videos live, they are mostly very confused and ask us how we do that or how they can learn it. Many people smile and say that it's not possible to move like that," they tell Newsweek. "Some kids watching our street performances screamed to their parents: 'Look! Robots are dancing!'."

The reaction online is even more extreme, splitting users on whether or not they're actually real. "Some people are sure that we are not real or that we are robots," Nicki and Loczek say.

"I can't anymore. This is officially a simulation," commented one user.

"These are getting a little too realistic," added another.

"At this point I'm convinced she's a real NPC," joked another user.

The dancers however couldn't be happier with the online hesitations. "That's kind of the best comment that we can get," they say.

@loczniki

Everything was just a dream.

♬ Silent Footsteps - Jeremy Soule