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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Relationship Between Long-Term Video Game Playing and Individuals' Entrepreneurial Traits and Intent: An Exploratory Study
by Tomczyk, David A., Ph.D., The George Washington University, 2010, 250; 3433542
Abstract (Summary)

Video games are becoming an omnipresent entertainment medium throughout the United States and in many other countries. Children and young adults may spend hours each week—and sometimes each day—immersing themselves in these interactive environments. But according to recent research in the field of education, they are more than just sophisticated toys; they are stimulating learning environments capable of compressing many iterations of a skill or mentality into a short period, creating a perfect training ground. Interestingly, many aspects of video games appear to be offering players experiences with entrepreneurial traits, which may lead to an increased interest in entrepreneurship as well.

This study uses a mixed-method approach to determine whether video game playing among adolescents and young adults is correlated with four entrepreneurial traits (need for achievement, need for autonomy, tolerance for ambiguity, and generalized self-efficacy) and entrepreneurial intent. The first component is a survey administered to young players and non-players between 13 and 23 to measure their time spent playing video games over the past five academic years and their current state in each of the entrepreneurial traits, entrepreneurial intent, and the three precursors to intent according to the theory of planned behavior (TPB), which are personal attitude toward entrepreneurship, social norms toward entrepreneurship, and perceived behavioral control toward entrepreneurship. These data were analyzed using multiple linear regressions, and the results indicate that video game playing is correlated with entrepreneurial intent, but this relationship is fully mediated by several entrepreneurial traits and components of TPB. I further analyze whether the genre of games played affects the relationship and found several promising results, although the limited sample size for each genre may have hidden weaker results.

The qualitative component of this study involved interviewing adults with little to intense levels of video game playing and asking them to reflect on their experiences with video games. The interviews were transcribed and coded, using the entrepreneurial traits as a guide. The results of the data are strongly supporting the results from the quantitative component, with significant results in the quantitative component having clearly supporting narratives, while non-significant results in the quantitative component having conflicting results in the interviews.

The results of this study offer the foundation for further studies exploring in what direction the influence of video games flows—whether video game playing causes the development of entrepreneurial traits, or whether people high in those traits are drawn to games that satisfy those needs. In addition, the study offers an example of how two disparate fields may be combined in order to advance the field of entrepreneurship.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Solomon, George T.
Commitee: Artz, John M., El Tarabishy, Ayman, Hill, N. Sharon, Winslow, Erik K.
School: The George Washington University
Department: Business
School Location: United States -- District of Columbia
Source: DAI-A 72/02, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Entrepreneurship, Behavioral Sciences, Organizational behavior
Keywords: Entrepreneurial intent, Entrepreneurial traits, Video games
Publication Number: 3433542
ISBN: 978-1-124-39180-9
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