How does OLGA / OLG-Anon grow?
Some of us sell OLGA / OLG-Anon as we go about. This is how it happens: Little clusters of twos and threes and fives spring up in different communities, through contact with the OLGA / OLG-Anon organization. Those of us who travel drop in at other groups as often as we can. This practice enables us to lend a hand to new groups, which are springing up all over the land. New groups need to be started each month. OLGA/OLG-Anon can even spread outside the United States. Thus we grow, so we and people who are obsessive gamers have a place to meet. Are you doing all you can to spread OLGA / OLG-Anon wherever you go?
What is a chapter vs. a meeting? There is one chapter per area. There can be many meetings under that Chapter. A Chapter is started first. Give your Chapter a name. Then decide when you want meetings. All meetings are tied to the Chapter.
How do you start a chapter in your area?
1. Please contact our hotline at (612)-245-1115, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. We will gather information from you, about your location, day and times you will hold meetings. Your chapter will be added to our list of local OLGA / OLG-Anon chapters.
2. Find another person from your area who is willing to support you in this endeavor. We find this to be the critical step to keep the meetings going. A buddy system. To find other members in your area, go to "Member Lookup By Location" (If you do a search and do NOT see your name, please contact me at email@example.com with your member informatiaon.) Contact other members and invite them to join you. Perhaps you know of gamers in your area who are interested in leaving the games. Invite them!
3. Find a meeting location - hopefully a place where they will not charge you rent. Contact a church or school and ask for permission to hold OLGA/OLG-Anon meetings there. Show them our website to validate what you are doing. If they need to speak to me, please give them the hotline number - 612-245-1115.
4. Place OLGA brochures announcing your meeting in public places such as churches, schools, doctor's offices, other 12-step group meeeting places, so others are aware the OLGA/OLG-Anon meetings are now available in your area. Please contact the hotline to get OLGA brochures.
5. Newspapers will publish these public service announcements at no charge. You can publish the day/time and place of your meetings there. In the announcements, have the term On-Line Gamers Anonymous meetings printed, rather than OLGA, in case some have not heard of OLGA.
6. Hold meetings. Invite your friends and others that you know of who will benefit from the meetings. Invite members from other meetings who you think may benefit. OLGA and OLG-Anon meetings can be held separately. We now have a GREAT feature on our website - Member Look Up by Location. Use this to locate other OLGA/OLG-Anon members near you. Invite them to the face-to-face meeting.
7. Use OLGA/OLG-Anon approved literature for the meetings. Here is a link to the Reading Material for Face-To-Face Meetings
8. How do you hold a meeting?
- I would STRONGLY suggest you go to several on-line chat meetings or another 12-step meeting (NA) to see how it is done.
- Decide what type of meeting you will hold (see below).
- Place temporary signs up in the building to direct people to the location of your meeting.
- Every meeting should have a "chairperson", who moves it along, and directs it. Usually the same person "chairs" for a month at a time. The chair will introduce the procedures to new people as they come in, so this function can be shared and others be given the chance to serve (12th stepping). If the chairperson does not show up, someone volunteers to be the chair.
- Start at the designated time. Welcome to On-Line Gamers Anonymous. Everyone goes around the room and introduces themselves: Hello, I am Liz, I am a video gaming addict.
- Read the approved literature - Before the meeting, assign each section to a different person to read, to get others involved. The literature should be printed out in sections and put in a clear plastic cover so it can be used time and again. The "chair" calls the section to be read.
- Once all of the literature is read, a basket IS passed to collect donations to pay for the rental of the space, coffee, cookies, literature, proving our Seventh Tradition. If there not enough to pay for the space, give them what you have. Requests from members will need to be made to help support the group.
- Start of meeting: First ask: Does anyone have a burning desire to game? If so, let that person start. This can turn into a first step meeting.
- If not, does anyone have any issues they need to discuss? If anyone has an issue, that can become the topic of the meeting. That person can start the meeting out.
- If not, read the topic of the meeting. The chair usually starts by saying what is on his/her heart about the topic, Passes to the next person when finished.
- May want to break up in groups, and hold a step meeting and a topic meeting and a first-step meeting.
- There may be times of silence. That is okay. Rest in it, peacefully. If you have something in your heart to say, please share it. It is really difficult to speak up at meetings. I KNOW! But your sharing will help you, and so many others.
- We do not give advice (it is called cross-talk). When it is our turn, we can share our story - something that happened to us, that is similar. When a person is talking, please do not interrupt. The talking is the healing - the getting it out. If the person starts crying do NOT get tissue, until the person is done. Let them finish their thought. It is very important that clean-up wait until after the meeting is over. Also, we think getting coffee and passing it around interrupts the healing process.
- When everyone is finished sharing, close the meeting with the Lord's Prayer or alternative prayer.
9. TYPES OF MEETINGS:
- Step meetings - It is a good idea to start with step 1, and do a step a meeting. Information about the step to be discussed can be printed out before the meeting, and used as an introduction to the step. Here is the link to our Step Discussions.
- After the steps have all been discussed, start with the 12 traditions - A VERY IMPORTANT PART OF THE PROGRAM. The steps can be used so we don't kill ourselves. The traditions are so we do not kill EACH OTHER! VERY IMPORTANT!
- Topic meeting - pick a topic that is on your mind, or ask the group if anyone has a topic they would like to discuss. The daily reading for the day is always a good place to get a topic. Print it out, and read it as the introduction.
- Beginners Meeting (First Step meeting) - A meeting for those just starting - also known as First Step meetings. Step 1 is always discussed.
- Big Book Meetings (When we get one. For now, you can use the A.A. Big Blue Book. It is very good. Just subsitute "gaming" for alcohol).
- Open Discussion Meeting - Go around the room, and everyone shares how they are doing, or talk about whatever is in their hearts.
- Open meeting - everyone comes - gamer and family members and the public. Usually have them once a month on a Saturday evening to celebrate the passing out of the chits - for time involved with OLGA/OLG-Anon, birthdays, invite a speaker, have a potluck meal, etc.
- Business meeting - Once you are established, start having a business meeting once a month. Create a board. Have a secretary and a treasurer. Decide what to do with the money, how to get more funds, organize events for your group.