By Marcina Zaccaria . . . 

In I Agree to the Terms, we travel back to the exhilarating computer explosion of the 1980s.

Gurus love this era, before email and before the Internet, when we could marvel at the sale of commercial goods streaming rapidly across the screen. In the ‘80s, the machines were large and difficult to operate, so you had to be a great pirate or a real Turk to catch every second. In this green, purple, and mustard fantasy, some were fascinated by the sound blips and constant rush of rows and columns filled with average purchases made by the average consumer. When the government wants to look in, where’s the civility of civilization, and who has the right to control and monitor? 

Get ready for Act Two in the world of Web 2.0 with real live “Turkers” teaching people about their Dashboard interface. A “HIT” is described as a “Human Intelligence Task.” Companies like Amazon depend on people and not bots to do this type of “on-demand” task. The remuneration can be up to $100/ day. MTurks, like Adah, invite each viewer into breakout rooms where the viewers can practice how to hit for a penny or more. This part of the show feels more like a cross between a business meeting and an educational lecture, with live components where participants can interact each step of the way. Personal rewards included scores read at the end of the session. Some had the ability to get up to 100%. The affirmation feels good, but what’s the price for participation that’s so intelligent? 

In Act Three, we journey to the Meta Office, where the story of a Builders Marketplace continues. Luxury items abound, and the terms of agreement continue to develop as the players appear in animation. With time, the game can go to a whole new level. Surpassing issues of age, race, and gender, the need to recognize humanity and individuality is felt. In the Meta Office, Moe Angelos and David Pence allude to the fact that blank anonymity can’t wipe the desire to purchase goods of choice or win at one’s own level. Movement simulators are used as identifiers. Though the animation looked super-cool on the screen, I missed the thin and fat Geeks from the ‘80s in their black cubes. 

Equally comfortable in the void or defined in light, it was refreshing to see this team, directed by Marianne Weems, taking on issues of identity while questioning who’s profiting as part of the game. The ethics challenge seems particularly appropriate in a school setting, where so many choices are monitored and pre-calculated each day. Here’s to the team at NYU’s Skirball Center as well as the Obie-winning Builders Association for making this not only a work of art but also an interactive learning experience, available in an educational landscape. 

I Agree to the Terms will be available via livestream through April 3. The 12-performance series will be broadcast from Theater Mitu, and is developed, in part, with support from Theater Mitu’s Artists At-Home Program.