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Tradition 3

Posted: Mon May 13, 2019 12:51 am
by Jeff
CGAA Traditions

Tradition 3: Membership

Tradition 3. The only requirement for CGAA membership is a desire to stop computer/video gaming

Our third tradition speaks to our inclusive nature. We don't exclude people for any reason, provided they want to stop gaming. All of our members are just that, members. We don't have membership categories or inner circles.

It wasn't always this way. When our fellowship was new, we met entirely online, and the structure of the website we used was confounded and confused with the fellowship. You could be a visitor, or a member of the website, or a member of the fellowship (if you asked to be one), or a moderator (meeting leader) or a forum moderator or an administrator or a board member. That's a hierarchy with seven levels. Most of us tried to ignore it--we just wanted to have support for our recovery--but still it was there. People were treated differently based on these categories. And the hierarchy was based on entitlement--once you got to a certain "level," that status (and the privileges that came with it) were never taken away, even if you stopped performing the role involved.

When we decided to embrace our 12 traditions, we found a better way. There are no hierarchies, there is no status that anyone is forever entitled to. There are trusted servant positions, but those rotate around the group. Anyone who has been to enough meetings to understand how they work can lead one. We don't have categories of membership. You're a member if you say so--that is, if you want to stop gaming and want to join us. It's that simple. New members are welcome at a group conscience meeting and have a say like everyone else. In fact, we often listen more closely to them, because they often best represent those that we are reaching out to.

It is important that we do require that people who join us want to stop gaming. If our purpose is carrying the message of recovery and abstinence from gaming to those who still suffer, we can hardly do it if some of our members do not want to abstain. Our unity is built around this. But nothing else.

This tradition also comes into play whenever someone wants to impose rules or requirements on members. At various times, it has been suggested that some members are more important than others, or that their opinion should be valued more, or that certain members were somehow "less" in some way. Very simply, Tradition 3 keeps that from happening. If you want to stop gaming, you're a member, and that membership can't be taken from you for any other reason. You don't have to pay dues, work the Steps, come to a certain number of meetings, have a sponsor or anything else in order to keep your membership. You don't have to like or agree with what others say. You just have to want to stop. That's a radically inclusive idea.

We also think it's a better way for us. There is a tendency in many organizations to make rules that restrict membership. We don't need these rules. Who wants to declare that they are an addict and can't control their gaming? Who gets to such a level of desperation that they decide to stop altogether?
We don't worry about the "wrong" people joining us--it's not very prestigious to admit these things. Over time we've found that the people who want to join are the people who need to join. It takes all of us to recover together.