Our personal situations may be different, but we share as equals because of what we have in common: our lives have been affected by another person’s compulsive gaming. Game-Anon is a mutual support group.
We can find understanding and support when we share our common experience with each other. Some of us are here because a spouse or partner has struggled with compulsive gaming. For others, the compulsive gamer is a parent, child, or grandchild. Sometimes a brother, a sister, or some other friend or relative recommends us to Game-Anon. Many of us have had more than one compulsive gamer family member or friend.
Compulsive gaming has similar effects on us all, even though our relationships to the compulsive gamer may be different. Many newcomers are most interested in hearing about situations and relationships that are similar to their own. Over time, however, we come to understand that we can benefit from hearing how the Game-Anon principles worked in many different circumstances.
Here are a few things to keep in mind at your first meeting
- Game‑Anon is a mutual support group. Everyone at the meeting shares as an equal. No one is in a position to give advice or direction to anyone else. Everyone at the meeting has experienced a problem with someone else’s compulsive gaming.
- You are free to talk about your situation at your first meeting. If you’d rather just listen, you can say “I pass,” or explain that you’d just like to listen. There is usually time after the meeting to ask specific questions or to talk about your specific situation or you can reach out to a member on the We Care sheet. During the meeting, we refrain from cross-talk which means we do not comment on or address what someone else has shared. This helps everyone feel safe sharing their experience, strength, and hope.
- Every meeting is different. Each meeting has the autonomy to be run as its members choose, within guidelines designed to promote Game‑Anon unity.
- Game‑Anon is not a religious program. Even when the meeting is held in a religious center, the local Game‑Anon group will pay rent to that center and is not affiliated in any way with any religious group. Your religious beliefs—or lack of them—are not a subject for discussion at Game‑Anon meetings, which focus solely on coping with the effects of someone’s gaming.
- It will take some time to fully understand the significance of anonymity to the Game‑Anon program. But at its simplest level, anonymity means that the people in the room will respect the confidentiality of what you say and won’t approach you outside the room in a way that compromises your privacy or the privacy of anyone who attended an Game‑Anon meeting.
- The meeting will likely begin with a reading of the Twelve Steps, Twelve Traditions of Game‑Anon. It will take some time to fully understand how the Twelve Steps can be a helpful tool in recovering from the effects of someone’s compulsive gaming. But Game‑Anon gives you the opportunity to grow at your own pace.
Some find it helpful to read the Frequently Asked Questions for Al-Anon meetings.
We Care Sheet & Outreach
Game-Anon keeps a list of members open to outreach calls. We encourage you to add your name to the list and to use the list for individual outreach. The requirement for accessing and using the list is to adhere to the anonymity of those listed and to use the list only for the purposes of outreach around Game-Anon issues.
Game-Anon also has a group on WhatsApp where members share their experience, strength, and hope.