Background and Objectives: Training of entrepreneurship skills is considered as one of the key factors to achieve sustainable economic development. In most countries, in addition to entrepreneurship education in college courses, extensive efforts to teach entrepreneurship to children and primary school students are in progress. However, countries with resource-dependent economy have low levels of entrepreneurship education in schools. Design and development of training programs in the field of entrepreneurship in schools can strengthen the entrepreneurial attitudes or the background needed to enter the field of entrepreneurship; and in fact, consider entrepreneurship as a suitable career choice or entrepreneurial job preference. The evidence suggests that formal training cannot create the required entrepreneurial motivation to start a new business. Skills acquired through playing games can be obtained faster and can last longer than what is learned in the classroom. Today, games and game features are used to create innovations in teaching and learning in entrepreneurship and this is probably the most attractive and challenging application of the games. Using games is a good way to experience life and the complex and unknown world of entrepreneurship, especially beacuse this experience takes place in an environment that protects the student from serious risks such as bankruptcy or emotional damage. Therefore, this study investigated the effect of video games by enhancing adolescents' self-efficacy on their career preferences.
Method: In this research, a quasi-experimental method was used. For this purpose, some high-school students in Birjand participated in this research. A purposive cluster sampling method was used to select participants. To this end, considering the homogeneity of gender, family characteristics, and income level of the family, the two boys' schools, namely “Sama” and” Darol - Oulum” were considered as the main clusters. In each school, 24 students were selected randomly from 13- to 14-year-old students and were divided into experimental and control groups. Eventually, 20 people participated as the experimental group and 22 people participated as the control group. Pre-test and post-test were taken from all of the four groups and paired samples t-test and Pearson Correlation were used to test the research hypotheses. The data were analyzed using SPSS 26.
Findings: The results of the independent samples t-test confirmed the increase in entrepreneurial self-efficacy of adolescents in the experimental group through video games (and not environmental conditions and external factors). Also, the results of independent samples t-test confirmed the effect of video games on adolescent entrepreneurial job preference. Based on the results of Pearson correlation test, a positive and significant relationship between entrepreneurial self-efficacy and adolescent entrepreneurial job preference was also confirmed. Overall, the results showed that playing video games has a positive and significant effect on enhancing entrepreneurial self-efficacy and entrepreneurial job preferences of the participants.
Conclusion: The innovative aspect of our research was the smart choice of video games for entrepreneurship education. During the observations, the effect of the game on the improvement of team skills and teamwork was evident. Also, the increase in entrepreneurial job preferences in the test group can be attributed to increasing self-confidence and improving leadership skills. Another interesting result obtained in the study is the importance of the role of planning and coordination in increasing the effectiveness of games for education. Therefore, in order to increase the effectiveness of games in training, satisfaction and support of school officials and parents, it is recommended that the participation of players and playing as a team, creating a competitive environment and facilitating self-assessment and smart choice of video games and game time planning should be considered.
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