History of our fellowship’s name

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History of our fellowship's name

Post by Scott »

Here's a piece I wrote a while back that I remembered when I saw the WhatsApp discussion about the name Computer Gaming Addicts Anonymous. I updated it and thought I'd post it. If anyone who was around in 2014 has anything to add or any different memories, feel free to post it below. I'm up for revising this if it seems useful to use in some piece of literature in the future.

History of our fellowship's name

The first place online that our fellowship began to meet was on a website called olganon.org or Online Gamers Anonymous. Naturally, we used the same name for our fellowship.

Once we reached a certain point of growth and (relative) maturity, we realized the importance of embracing all Twelve Traditions and that we could not follow all of them while still being affiliated with a privately-owned website and non-profit that did not follow the traditions. We needed to have our own website, meeting places, and a new name.

A small informal committee brainstormed names. Ideas for a two-letter name, as used by other fellowships like AA, NA, and GA, were thrown around but nothing workable came to mind.

The first name seriously considered was Video Gaming Addicts Anonymous or VGAA. Some of us felt it was very important to stop calling ourselves gamers, an identity we had worked to leave behind, and start identifying as gaming addicts. Thus we did not initially consider "Video Gamers Anonymous." It also seemed important to identify our compulsive behavior as the problem rather than the video games. Thus the suggested name started with "Video Gaming Addicts" instead of "Video Game Addicts."

Another suggestion was Computer Gaming Addicts Anonymous or CGAA. We wanted to be inclusive of all people with problems with electronic games and wondered which was more general, "video gaming," which could include all kinds of gaming but brings to mind video game consoles, or "computer gaming," which could include all kinds of gaming but brings to mind games played on a PC. It seemed like either could come across as exclusive or inclusive. We were not sure which would be better.

Someone suggested that starting the name with "C" would put it at the top of alphabetized lists, while starting it with a "V" would put it at the end of those lists. At that point, we needed a quick decision so that we could buy a domain name. The committee decided to temporarily go with CGAA and bring the issue to the whole group conscience for a formal decision, at which time we might switch to VGAA or something else.

When the group met on June 22, 2014 to make a decision, we had a long, long list of pressing issues to deal with, including starting meetings in two new time slots, finding leaders for all the meetings, fleshing out a website with all relevant information, getting the word out to all members and newcomers, and making sure we could be found online. Pressed for time, we decided to continue with the name CGAA while allowing further discussion on the forum and to table the matter for a few weeks.

At the July 13, 2014 business meeting, the topic was raised again. The webmaster stated that he was entirely willing to re-work the website and find a new domain name if the group decided on a different name. Alternate names were suggested, like Video Gaming Addicts Anonymous (VGAA), Video Gamers Anonymous (VGA), Computer/Video Gaming Addicts Anonymous (CVGAA), and Compulsive Gaming Addicts Anonymous (CGAA). We still had divided opinion on whether "video gaming" or "computer gaming" was the more inclusively relatable term. In the end we chose to stick with the name that we had been using for two months, largely because we already had the domain name cgaa.info and a nifty logo with the CGAA letters.

Later experience seemed to give more weight to the term "video gaming." The number of online searches for "video gaming" far exceeded searches for "computer gaming." Several times we were asked why we specifically supported computer gamers instead of video gamers. It seemed that fewer members related to "computer gaming" than "video gaming." Also, the higher alphabetical order of "CGAA" over "VGAA" never brought any apparent benefits.

To try to alleviate some of the misunderstanding about our name, we use the terms "video gaming" and "video gamers" frequently on our website and in our literature. For example, under the title of Computer Gaming Addicts Anonymous on the main website, the subtitle says, "A fellowship and recovery program for compulsive video gamers."
Last edited by Scott on Fri Jun 21, 2019 4:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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History of our fellowship’s name

Post by ADH »

I would leave out the mention of olganon. They're an outside issue and not really of relevance to the reader.

The first paragraph should thus read (emphasis intended to show the change: "The first place online that our fellowship began to meet was on another website. Naturally, we used the same name for our fellowship."

This keeps with the traditions and doesn't attach our name to the dysfunctional place.
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