The Office of the Surgeon General, under the direction of the Surgeon General, oversees the operations of the 6,000-member Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service and provides support for the Surgeon General in the accomplishment of his other duties. The Office is part of the Office of Public Health and Science in the Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The Surgeon General serves as America's chief health educator by providing Americans the best scientific information available on how to improve their health and reduce the risk of illness and injury. The acting Surgeon General is Rear Admiral Steven K. Galson, M.D., M.P.H. RADM Galson is also serving as the Acting Assistant Secretary for Health.
Earlier today, the Surgeon General issued the following statement on a videogame titled Sacred 2, recently released for the Xbox 360 and PS3 after its initial launch on PC, and developed by Ascaron Entertainment:
Sacred 2, developed by Ascaron Entertainment, is a fantasy roleplaying game in which players kill swarms of enemies to gain new in-game items to make their characters more powerful. The game is said to have well over 100 hours of content, and enormous replay value.
Clinical studies have show that games of this type work on a scheme of classical conditioning. Players are rewarded early and often as the game begins, with characters advancing significantly in the first few hours, and constantly finding better items. As the hours stretch on, advancement takes longer and longer, and more powerful items are harder to come by. Players are lured into a cycle of needing to play longer and longer to feel they've made any progress, and thus begins a vicious cycle of excessive play and addiction.
Concerned parents or players worried about the possibility of addiction are advised to look for the following symptoms of addiction:
Psychological Symptoms of Video Game Addiction
- Having a sense of well-being or euphoria while at the computer/console
- Inability to stop the activity
- Craving more and more time at the computer/console
- Neglect of family and friends
- Feeling empty, depressed, irritable when not at the computer/console
- Lying to employers and family about activities
- Problems with school or job
Physical Symptoms of Video Game Addiction
- Carpal tunnel syndrome Dry eyes
- Migraine headaches
- Back aches
- Eating irregularities, such as skipping meals
- Failure to attend to personal hygiene
- Sleep disturbances, change in sleep pattern