Addiction can take many different forms, and being addicted to online gaming can cause just as many problems and be just as difficult to overcome as any other addiction, including addictions to drugs, alcohol, or sex. Online gaming addictions have ruined many lives, but luckily, there is a program available that can help you to finally control your gaming and recover from your addiction.
What Is Online Gamers Anonymous?
If you, a friend, or a family member simply cannot stop gaming, you may become obsessed to the point that playing online games begins to take over every aspect of your life. Most experts recommend getting help to fight this addiction. Online Gamers Anonymous (OLGA) is an online community that was created to help gaming addicts understand their addiction so they can begin to take steps to control and eventually recover from this potentially debilitating problem.
“Online gaming addictions have ruined many lives, but luckily, there is a program available that can help you to finally control your gaming and recover from your addiction. “Online Gamers Anonymous has created a 12-step recovery program designed specifically for gaming addicts. In addition to this program, they also provide support through their online community, which includes a gaming addiction forum, 24/7 chat rooms, and scheduled weekly chats. Each avenue focuses on one of a wide variety of gaming-addiction-related topics. They also give members the ability to connect locally with other people in the same situation. OLGA also runs a program known as OLG-Anon, which provides support to game addicts, their friends, and their family members.
Principles of the OLGA 12-Step Recovery Program
Twelve-step programs have long been used as an effective way to provide support group and help on the long and difficult road to recovery, and OLGA’s program, which is designed specifically for gaming addicts, is no different.
While many people think of 12-step programs as being overly religious, OLGA has designed their program to be useful for anyone and everyone, regardless of their religious beliefs. In fact, they actually have two separate programs: one for religious-minded persons and one for atheists and agnostics.
The goal of any 12-step recovery program is to slowly allow a person to understand their addiction and how it is affecting them and their loved ones. These programs also focus on the 12 different principles that support addicts during the recovery process. The 12-step principles may differ slightly, depending on the program you choose. Most programs, however, focus on the following 12 steps:
- Step 1: Honesty and acceptance
- Step 2: Hope
- Step 3: Faith or trust
- Step 4: Action and courage
- Step 5: Integrity
- Step 6: Willingness
- Step 7: Humility
- Step 8: Love
- Step 9: Justice
- Step 10: Perseverance
- Step 11: Spirituality or beauty
- Step 12: Service
When Can Gaming Be Considered an Addiction?
More and more, experts are starting to realize that having a gaming addiction is a serious mental health issue that is beginning to affect an increasingly large percentage of the population, particularly young males. While the World Health Organization has yet to recognize gaming as a true addiction, some studies suggest that somewhere between 5 and 15 percent of gamers are addicted.
According to one Iowa State University study reported on Science Daily, 8.5 percent of gamers between the ages of 8 and 18 are clinically addicted. After reading these statistics, you may be wondering the following:
- How much video game playing is too much?
- At what point can gaming start to be viewed as an addiction?
In general, once gaming begins to take priority over all other aspects of your life, such as work, school, and family commitments, you may be considered an addict. If you play video games moderately and can still handle your day-to-day responsibilities, you are still in control and probably not an addict.
To make it easier to diagnose obsessive gaming or video game addiction, OLGA has produced a list of questions that can help you determine if your gaming is out of control. So, if you are concerned that your pastime has turned into an addiction, OLGA’s screening test may be able to help you determine whether or not your gaming has gotten out of hand. You can also speak to a professional to determine whether or not you have become addicted to gaming.