The basic program of recovery

Program of recovery The Twelve Steps The Twelve Traditions
The basics Sponsorship Useful slogans

The C.G.A.A. program presents an array of tools, including meetings, a network of mutual support, sharing experience, strength and hope, sponsorship, service work, useful literature, helpful slogans, avoiding temptations, recognition of game-free time, and the Twelve Steps. Each member is free to choose which tools he or she is ready to try, at his or her own pace, with no coercive pressure from others.

Our group meetings and our literature provide much guidance on recovery principles and practices. Here, we summarize a few foundational pieces to start you off in a solid place.

Abstinence one day at a time. We review our attempts at moderation and accept that they have not worked. With moderation unworkable, we accept abstinence as the basis for our solution, one day at a time, or one hour at a time. Our number one priority is to not start that first game between now and the end of the day. We remember that there’s not a problem that can’t be made worse by a return to gaming.  number1sm
Attend meetings of the fellowship. We can do together what we cannot do individually. In place of our old online social life, we build a new social life based on friendships with people who understand and support us in recovery. By putting just a fraction of the time we used to spend gaming into recovery, we gain many rewards. A meeting takes only an hour or so out of each day. Some members commit to making ninety meetings in their first ninety days. At meetings, we do well to focus on identifying with others rather than comparing ourselves to them.  Fellowship & meetings
Ask for help. We need to overcome our aversion to asking for help. Finding strength and support from outside ourselves is key to growing out of old self-defeating ways and adopting a new way of life free from gaming. When a longer-term member works with a newer one, we call that “sponsorship,” a vital link in the chain of one gaming addict helping another and passing along our program of recovery. Since we become like those with whom we surround ourselves, we make friends who have the kind of attitudes and lives that we wish for ourselves. We grow out of old selfishness by generously helping and supporting each other on this path of recovery from gaming addiction.  cgaaLogo_sm

We have been asked, “What counts as gaming?  Does playing chess on a computer count?  Does playing a board or card game that is similar or related to a video game count?  Does watching a gaming video count as a lapse back into gaming?”

Because of the variety of ways our members experience their addiction, CGAA has no formal definition as to what constitutes computer or video gaming, but we have found some common threads in our collective experience. Based on this experience, we strongly encourage the avoidance of all continuously interactive forms of electronic entertainment (often referred to as “games”). Whether the game is primitive or complex and whether the device is new or old don’t seem to make a difference. Any game on any platform seems to inevitably restart the destructive cycle of our addiction. In addition to this, we encourage you to be very cautious about watching gaming videos or watching others play, as such activities frequently lead us back to playing games ourselves.

Lastly, we also encourage an honest discussion with others in the program about your boundaries, and in any and all cases about which you are uncertain, as we find that while our addiction thrives in secrecy, it weakens when we honestly expose the truth about our behaviors to our fellow recovering gaming addicts.

We have been asked, “Is CGAA a Twelve Step program?”

If “Twelve Step program” is defined as a program that provides the 12 Steps as one of many tools, the answer is “Yes.” If defined as a program where all members work and advocate the steps, or where the steps are presented as the only tool for recovery, or where members are expected or required to work the steps, the answer is a clear “No.” We have no rules or requirements, beyond the simple desire to stop gaming.