Posted by Eric Sep 10, 2014
So say you want to introduce one more video game company into that sprawling ecosystem of entertainment. As any branding exec would tell you, the natural thing to do is to name your company something tricky to spell and hard to pronounce. Like a sneeze, or an alien mating call.
And thus, by rearranging some Scrabble letters from a pouch, the name Xenizo arises from the ether, and the gaming world rejoices.
Or not. But what if there is more to the story? There is, of course, but it might take some explaining.
First things first. The “X” in our name doesn’t stand for eXtreme. Neither are we the latest Big Pharma drug. And parents can relax — the “X” doesn’t stand for X-rated.
Our name actually stems from an old Greek verb. According to Bible concordance entries, xenizo (ξενίζω) means “to receive as a guest,” “entertain a stranger,” show hospitality or be a host.
It also carries connotations of surprise, to “startle” or “bewilder.” Thayer's Greek Lexicon puts it this way: “to surprise or astonish by the strangeness and novelty of a thing.”
These terms sum up our company’s profile and mission. Our work might be peculiar to some people who are used to present-day mainstream entertainment. Our creative inspirations may appear alien and strange to some. That’s why our doors are wide open for the most curious and quirky players.
Indeed, there’s no room for snobbery at Xenizo Games. Unfortunately, longtime gamers are being questioned and scorned for not fitting a narrowing profile of what a gamer supposedly ought to be. And a cacophony of voices is shouting over race, sex, politics, religion and other divisions among gamers.
As we’ll explain in future blog posts, our company philosophy wants to treat people as individuals instead of collections of identities. And we prefer voluntary communities that build things up to coercive collectivism that tears things down.
Xenizo’s products will reflect its interests. We’re geeks about games, but we’re also passionate about ancient history, philosophy, geography, foreign languages, psychology and the classical arts. As a faith-positive company, allusions to the Bible are also expected, but to edify, not to impose.
One more thing: pronunciation. Since we produce games and not time machines, it was hard for us to conclude how the ancients would pronounce Xenizo. For simplicity’s sake, we’ll Anglicize it as zeh-nee-zoh. If you want to pronounce it as kseh-nid-zoh and risk getting a “gesundheit,” the extra credit is yours.
In the coming days and weeks, Xenizo Games will announce its first exciting game and some of its details.
But for now, from one stranger to another, I bid you welcome.