Zach became an early adopter of Virtual Reality (VR) in the early 90’s playing games like Dactyl Nightmare. After earning his Applied Science degree from Elizabethtown Community and Technical College, he became an independent game developer, and released two commercial game titles, reTension (XBox) and Sushi Shift (Android), under his company SoNotSoft. He is also an experienced software engineer in both the government and financial sectors. With the 2012 release of the Oculus Rift Kickstarter campaign, he knew that his childhood dream was finally obtainable and began working on VR in gaming.
Now drawn to the mission of BehaVR, and the opportunity to apply VR to improving health, Zach is living his VR dreams.
What do you find most inspiring or powerful about VR?
For me, it’s the ability to be someone other than yourself. To be immersed in a story that you get to experience first-hand. There’s something magical about taking part in a story that’s not your own.
What’s your favorite thing we’re working on at BehaVR?
I’m definitely excited about our social anxiety program. I’ve always struggled with social anxiety. I can’t even imagine how much different school would have been for me having a tool like that. I can remember skipping school and not completing assignments, just so I wouldn’t have to share my answers with the class. Sometimes I would do the work but say I didn’t when I found out we were going to go over it as a class. This product would have been life-changing for me.
What’d you think you’d be when you grew up?
Two careers seemed the most amazing to me. My first pick was a Special Effects make-up artist working in the film industry. I ended up going to school for it but quickly realized it really wasn’t from me. The second thing was to make video games. Interestingly, the two careers that I pictured myself in had to do with transforming someone into another person. Ultimately, I ended at BehaVR where I get to work on products that help people transform into a better version of themselves.
What’s a hobby, habit or ritual that puts you at ease or strengthens your mental health?
I love creating and making things. Not even anything specific. I enjoy everything from helping my kids with a craft, building a chicken coop, or making a game. I love taking an idea and making it something real.