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Fighting bullying with Milan


Bullying is very present in our lives and not limited anymore to the classroom or the school yard. Due to digitalisation, it takes place 24/7, both online and offline. De Kindertelefoon, the child helpline in The Netherlands is fighting this phenomenon with an online game called ‘Milan’. The game is part of a larger campaign during the ‘Week tegen Pesten’ – the Week Against Bullying from the 18th till the 22nd of September 2017.

Children and young people can chat with Milan to find solutions against bullying. Milan is a successor of Iris The Game, which was a simillar tool in the Week Against Bullying in 2016 in The Netherlands. During that week last year, De Kindertelefoon registered an increase of 25% in phone calls and chats. During this year’s Week Against Bullying, the child helpline is planning to extend its opening hours so that all children can receive the necessary counselling and help with bullying.



Iris The Game was based on a self-governing dialogue with the user, based on true stories. For the majority of the children, the dialogue-engine of Iris felt so real that they interacted with Iris as if she was a real person. And all of that wasn’t like talking to a teacher, or a parent or watching a top-down TV programme, but it was through a direct communication with a pupil on the same level. In the busiest times, Iris received 19,000 apps per day. The game won 2 Spinawards and it was nominated for the TV-beelden awards (The equivalent to the Emmy’s in the Netherlands). A short video about Iris The Game can be seen here. (In Dutch only)


Milan is the successor of Iris in 2017. Milan also operates through a guided dialogue written with the help of children and enriched with audio messages, Snapchats, videos and photos. The difference between Iris and Milan is that Milan is also able to assess the group dynamic in the conversation: is the child also taking part in the bullying or not? The game can also be played on Snapchat.

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