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The Kids Behind the Lavalings

by Jessica Ragnio, MSW, LICSW, and Associate Clinical Director at Mightier

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What’s a Lavaling?

At Mightier, Lavalings are little rock-like creatures that players meet, cool and collect as they play. Lavaings are unique, each with their own personality, traits, strengths, and things they are working on. They have hot and cool states (just like all of us) and part of each Mightier player’s mission is to help Lavalings cool down using their own calming abilities.

“We wanted to give kids a visual for their emotions, and to really bring those emotions to life. Lavalings in essence are characterizations of emotions and personality traits. They feel upset and excited sometimes, and they have to work to cool down. Their relationship with other lavalings and the Mightier world around them is a small representation of kids’ relationships with the people and world around them. We wanted to show kids that all emotions, and the reasons behind all emotions, are valid and valuable.”

– Luigi G, Mightier game designer and artist

Many Lavalings were actually designed by Mightier kids! Let’s meet a few of these awesome Lavalings and the kids behind them. 


Meet Cascade! Designed by Maura, age 15

“My lavaling is a wave named Cascade. She loves to surf competitively. When she messes up a trick she gets frustrated, upset, and mad at herself. This brings her into the red zone and she turns into a red hurricane. When she realizes she is in the red zone she calms down and becomes as peaceful as the blue waves again.”

We were lucky enough to meet Maura, get to know her a bit, and learn more about her design process for Cascade. It turns out that Cascade and Maura have a lot in common. Both put a lot of pressure on themselves, both in athletics and academics, and get frustrated with themselves when they make a mistake. They are both hard workers who really invest a lot of time, energy and passion into the activities and relationships they care about. Another wonderful quality about them both is how self-aware they are. Maura describes knowing the negative impact this type of pressure can have on her, and that she’s really trying to be more aware of her emotions, practice self-care, and prioritize her happiness and emotional well-being. 

Maura, thank you for sharing your story and for creating Cascade, who is an amazing Lavaling and very representative of the pressure we can all put on ourselves at times. 

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