I agree that we should avoid the word "mese". It's already confusing in the game itself. Meece? Meecy? Messy? Meekee? If Minetest is renamed, it should be something easy, unambiguous, and catchy.
Again, though, are we (potentially) renaming the engine? Or Minetest Game? Or both?
If the engine was only that - just the engine - then it could stay named whatever. No one cares what the Unreal Engine is named. Users/gamers/players don't search for and download "Unreal Engine" or "Unreal" (at least, not anymore… RIP Unreal Tournament). They download a game that uses that engine. If that were the case here, then the engine could stay "Minetest" and each game could have its own name and come bundled with the engine, seamless and invisible to the end user. (I'd be cool with this approach, actually. There's a few issues, though, outlined below.)
However, Minetest is not just the engine, but also the launcher/configuration manager/settings GUI, etc. Therefore, people *do* search for and download "Minetest", *then* (optionally, but usually) go download an actual (sub)game to play (unless they stick with just Minetest Game, which is unlikely). The name Minetest is first and foremost what potential players see and hear… and it's not good. It really does sound like a pet project, a hobby, not something to be taken too seriously. First impressions are important. The name "Minetest" isn't a great first impression.
To help counter that on my end these days, when I stream or talk about my game, I say things like "I'm playing my Minetest game: 'Boldly Go'". This conveys several things:
1.) This is something I made/put together. (The subgame Boldly Go.)
2.) This is a game I made with an existing engine/framework. (Minetest)
3.) The actual name of my game is "Boldly Go", not "Minetest" (even though the stream says "Playing Minetest", etc.)
4.) It helps introduce the idea of Minetest just being the engine/host/launcher/etc, so if anyone downloads it, they understand the difference between Minetest and all the actual games (Minetest Game, Boldly Go, etc).
That said, I can think of two potential solutions to discuss.
1.) Rename "Minetest" to "Minetest Launcher". We keep the existing name and familiarity we already have, but also add a clarification of what the software actually is and how it is supposed to be used. In this case, I don't think having "Minetest" as part of the name is an issue. Minetest Launcher is no sillier than ATLauncher, FTB, etc.
2.) I like the idea of possibly moving away from the single launcher for all games and moving towards individually bundled games. If a user wants to play Minetest Game, they download Minetest Game and play it (which would include everything bundled). If a user wants to play my Boldly Go game, they would download that and play it. No reason to know about the engine. No need for a launcher. No need to market the engine/launcher/etc. This has the downside of possible wasted drive space, since each game would have its own copy of the engine. However, this is offset by the fact that if a game is developed for 0.4.13, that game will ship with 0.4.13 ready to run. You won't have to worry about mod/game/engine version incompatibilities.
The main downside to option #2 is that players lose the ability to easily just add their own mods to a blank slate to create their own game/experience. That's a pretty big downside, but could possibly be rectified with Minetest Minimal Game being developed/released specifically as a game meant for customization. That way, subgame developers can develop and release their own games in individual apps/bundles, while there'd still be a app/bundle specifically for user modification.
The second downside to option #2 is: subgame developers would be in charge of developing/releasing their game for each OS, etc. That's a lot of work and a lot of redundancy.
So, for all the benefits of #2, I'd say option #1 is better. It's easy (simply rename the user downloaded software to "Minetest Launcher" or similar, while the engine could still be "Minetest"). It clarifies what the software the user just downloaded is and gets the point across that it, itself, isn't a game. This alone would improve user experience and comprehension of Minetest. Even better would be an in-game built-in subgame search and installer, similar to FTB/ATLauncher/etc. It would be so nice if someone could simply download Minetest Launcher, install it, run it, search for a game, click install, the launcher downloads and installs, then the user can play. Seamless experience, without having to traverse the Games forum area.