Updated: Jul 18, 2019
Growing up in Kankakee, my gamer friends and I had an awesome game store that we used to visit. At least, I think it was awesome. During middle school when we started going there, my judgment and decision-making skills were not the best. If you have middle-school children, I am sure they will love GriffoNest Games. Check it out for yourself and see. Anyway, I digress.
The Dragon’s Nest was located somewhere in downtown Kankakee near the Daily Journal. We would make the mile and a half trek there on foot, buy a Dungeons & Dragons adventure, read it on the way home, and then play it when we got back to one of our houses. If my memory serves me, The Dragon’s nest was a cramped little place. Still, we went back countless times, repeating this process. I do not recall when this shop closed down. When it did, we started riding our bikes several miles to an old factory in Bradley. There, they had a comic and game store. While I do not recall either of the Bradley store names, The Dragon’s Nest has always stuck with me. Here are some of the considerations we gave to various mythological creatures and our decision-making process in choosing our game store name.
When it came to naming our store, I actually considered calling it “The Dragon’s Nest”. This name has a lot of sentimental value for me and, let’s face it, dragons are cool. There would be much potential for sweet-looking merchandise and marketing for our store. Alas, a search for “The Dragon” reveals that names like this have been used A LOT. I also came to realize that there is a video game and other stores that already use this name. The Dragon’s Nest was out as a name. We knew we wanted a fantasy name of some type for our game store. Thus, the exhaustive search for just the right name began.
Once considered a noble creature, the unicorn has been ruined by modern day technology. The spreading of memes depicting their technicolor flatulence has helped to tarnish this image. Further complicating things is Dookie, the Squatty Potty unicorn. Needless to say, I feel this video speaks for itself. The unicorn was out.
The all-knowing sphinx was a serious contender. In mythology, the sphinx had a human head, body of a lion, and wings of a bird. The sphinx would ask a riddle of those who sought to enter Thebes. If you answered the riddle correctly, you could pass. If not, the sphinx would strangle and devour the hapless riddle answerer. While “Riddle of the Sphinx” would be a decent name, we found it a bit wordy. Furthermore, we felt that strangling and devouring those entering our store who could not answer our riddle to be a bad business model. The Sphinx was also out of running for store name.
With the head of a human, body of a lion, leathery wings, and spiky tail, we deemed that the Manticore was just an emo griffon. Next!
The Griffon is a creature with the hind quarters of a lion and head, wings, and front talons of an eagle. It also holds heraldic significance, being used on a multitude of coat-of-arms. This gave way to potential for different t-shirts and other merchandise. There was not much use of the griffon in many store names. When we considered “The Griffon’s Nest”, we really liked the sound of it. After looking at potential ways to brand our name, we had the idea to smash Griffon and Nest together, linked by an upper case “N”. Not only did this create a unique looking branding when we added the colors, it also allowed us to easily get the domain for grffonest.com. Once we added in the griffon image created by my daughter and threw in “Games”, we felt like we had a unique name that would allow us to stand out.
Hopefully, GriffoNest Games will be a place in which to flock for all gamers in the area. We are making much progress and look toward opening on Labor Day weekend. If you have any suggestions about games you would like to see in our store, please let us know!