Abstract

Recent technological advances have led to the rapid development of computer-generated spaces that enable individual users to in a sense “step into the Internet” and many offer 3D (three dimensional) graphics. Users can immerse themselves in various ways; communicate, collaborate, create, and even organize economic activity. The 3D Internet is currently known mainly for entertainment or training purposes, including virtual worlds, conferences, simulations, role-playing games. While 3D Internet-enabled technologies are advancing rapidly, this growth has been accompanied by hype about opportunities for entrepreneurship.

Unfortunately, the literature offers sparse knowledge at the industry level. There is a lack of overview regarding 3D Internet entrepreneurship practices and the real challenges faced by entrepreneurs. In this study, we explore the potential as well as the hindrances to new venture creation related to the 3D Internet. Our theoretical basis is affordances, or the material and social properties of any technology in relation to affording actions by humans..

Our first research question focuses on the perception of affordances by entrepreneurs: what does the 3D Internet offer or afford as a “space” for entrepreneurial practices? Our second research question focuses on understanding how entrepreneurs utilize their social networks. Our approach to entrepreneurship is social-- concerned with the dynamics of social interactions and networked information ecology..

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