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Name change blurb from Jeff

General Service Conference meetings, agendas, and notes.
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Name change blurb from Jeff

Post by Scott »

The General Service Conference has been discussing changing the name of the fellowship, and information on that issue has been gathered from the fellowship. This discussion has taken place for the following reasons:

1. There have been questions about our name by newcomers and others over the years, for a variety of reasons, most commonly “Why Computer Gaming Addicts Anonymous? I play on my console, cell phone, etc.” This leads to some newcomers questioning whether they belong.
2. We will be incorporating our non-profit service organization soon and publishing literature shortly thereafter. If we want to consider changing the name, now is the time to do it.

Once the information was gathered (via an informal poll), the General Service Conference discussed this matter. The most important values that informed our discussion involved:

a. The ability of our fellowship to attract (and therefore serve) the newcomers—sick and suffering gaming addicts who are seeking help. This included concerns about:
1) Search engine optimization—how can our website be most easily found?
2) Being clear to newcomers about whether or not they belong in our fellowship (e.g., “do the kinds of games I play qualify me for membership?”).
3) Being clear to outsiders who might direct a newcomer to us as to what we are about.
b. Taking a long view—balancing the disruption caused by a name change with the value obtained over the long run. We expect our fellowship to be around in 50 years. What will best serve us over that time frame?

Because the membership seemed to noticeably prefer VGAA over CGAA, we discussed the option of changing to this name. However, in taking the long view, it was pointed out that while there may be advantages to either VGAA or CGAA for various reasons at this time, the rise of mobile gaming (which isn’t usually called “video gaming”) and the budding potential of virtual reality gaming made us consider another option, based on the idea of “taking the long view.”

Thus we are proposing to the fellowship that the name of CGAA be changed to “Gaming Addicts Anonymous,” with our website, as it does now, prominently clarifying that this includes computer, video, mobile and other electronic games of any kind (i.e. “continuously interactive forms of electronic entertainment”). We would, at least for a year and perhaps longer, retain the current url so that traffic to will be automatically redirected to a new url.

The rationale and arguments that were brought up in favor of this are:
1. It is more general than other names (CGAA, VGAA and even EGAA—“electronic gaming”), and it will be easy to include members who become addicted to future gaming technologies whatever they may be.
2. Many of us now identify ourselves as “gaming addicts,” which is more consistent with “GAA.”
3. The only disadvantage of this name is possible confusion with gambling addiction (or the initials “GA”—Gambler’s Anonymous), and we agreed that this confusion is likely generational and will diminish over time, as younger people and the culture in general refers to electronic gaming as “gaming.” However, this doesn’t keep any newcomers from coming to us; it just means a few gambling addicts may show up from time to time.
4. We have considered search engine optimization, and do not believe that the choice of this name poses any disadvantages over the current name, because search engines look more at website content than titles, and also substitute synonyms for one another in searching. The terms “computer gaming” and “video gaming” will remain prominent on our site.
5. While this may cause some disruption at first, it is more likely to serve the fellowship well in the long run.

We submit this proposal to groups for consideration. Per our charter, such a change will require agreement from ¾ of our groups. This is a high standard, as it should be for such a significant change. We encourage groups to consider this matter carefully, have a group conscience meeting, and share the results (Yes or No) with the GSC. The tradition in our fellowship has been to seek substantial consensus rather than a bare majority and the GSC encourages groups to share the results of their meeting with us. This includes both the decision on the proposal (Yes or No) and any thoughts, information or feedback that you would like the GSC to further consider, including suggestions regarding implementation if the vote is “Yes.”

NOTE: Groups are not required to currently have a delegate to the GSC to participate in this process. All groups should be heard.

Questions and results of your group’s decision can be communicated through your GSC delegate, or, if your group doesn’t have one, by emailing
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