The Floor Is Lava

Anthony is a student at USC and one of my closest friends. He grew up in New York and moved to Los Angeles this year to study at USC. He comes from an Italian background.



Performance: “back in my kindergarden years, we used to have some pretty intense stuff going on. And one of the most intense things was the state of the floor that we walked around on on a daily basis. The floor contained a checkered pattern.. a black and red checkered pattern, and the red really represented lava to us kindergardeners. And it was not chill to step.. you could NOT step on the lava, or you would be persecuted by your peers, left out of your friend group, and potentially die. You will not advance in your social group if you step in the lava. SO you must hop, leap, and skip over the lava squares. You have to hop from black square to black square. You can also climb on furniture or people who had already fallen into the lava. As long as you didn’t touch the red portions of the floor you were safe.”



Response: This is a game that i myself played as a child as well. When I played however, the entire floor was lava, and using furniture was the only way to navigate it safely. It is a sort of classic children’s game, and requires a fair amount of imagination to play. It also works bette for kids because full grown adults cannot hop across furniture like chairs and couches as easily due to their size. In terms of significance perhaps the lava represents danger in the home, as it was almost always played in a living room or another room with more furniture. In Anthony’s case, where the game was a sort of social determinant, giving children a chance to prove that they are brave to one another.