Differences between a video gaming addict and problem gamer

Many modern computer games require large amounts of time for their players to excel, creating a situation where almost any player can become what we call a “problem gamer.” Such people may suffer problems at work and in relationships. They may let their health and finances deteriorate. But the majority of problem gamers, when properly motivated, will moderate their gaming. They will quit problematic games and limit play time, as necessary to take care of their real life needs.

Among problem gamers are a minority whose gaming intensifies and increases over time, creating mounting problems month by month, year by year, at work, home, or school, in physical health, mental health, relationships and self-esteem.  Those of us who found ourselves in that situation were obsessed with gaming, using it to cope with stress and pain, using it as a substitute for a social life and relationship, forming our identities around our in-game identities. When problems motivated us to moderate our gaming, we found that we usually continued to play just as much, if not more. We lied to ourselves and to our friends and family about our gaming. We uninstalled problematic games, only to find ourselves soon reinstalling them. We grew angry with our behavior and frustrated with the grind of compulsive game play, yet continued hour after hour, day after day. We suffered a compulsion and an obsession, and for the periods of game-free time we did manage, we suffered withdrawal symptoms that often drove us back to the games.

Most of us who have escaped the vicious cycle through support of the C.G.A.A program and fellowship have come to call ourselves “gaming addicts.”

The C.G.A.A. program, fellowship and service organization exist to support gaming addicts in recovery from their compulsive gaming. Our sole purpose is to carry the message of recovery and support fellow gaming addicts, and any other activities that distract us from that purpose do not properly belong in C.G.A.A.


A note to non-addicted problem gamers interested in our fellowship:

Since our only requirement for membership is a desire to stop computer gaming, you may join us. You might find our fellowship, support and positive attitudes helpful to your personal path in life.

Please take the time to understand what CGAA is and who it is intended to help. We help addicts, people who have a very serious problem with gaming that most problem gamers do not suffer: an addiction. Addiction is a powerful and baffling mental condition requiring treatment, including complete abstinence from the problem behavior and a recovery program that addresses all aspects of the problem—mental, physical, spiritual and social.

If you have successfully moderated your gaming or easily walked away from it, if you are clear that you have not suffered the obsession, compulsion, withdrawal symptoms, denial, lack of control, and repeated relapses that we addicts have suffered, then please refrain from sharing in our meetings, except perhaps to briefly offer encouragement. Our newer members are in desperate need of focusing on solutions that have proven themselves workable for those suffering from addiction.