A few weeks ago, Adam "Atomic" Saltsman revealed a Typing Tutor edition of his popular Flash/iPhone game Canabalt, adapting its one-button controls so that a random letter is assigned as the jump button after one or two hops. He didn't give much explanation for the release, so I assumed it was produced for a local school interested in an educational version of the title.

It turns out that the educational game came at the request of Charles Watson, who runs a computer project dedicated to providing computers with low power consumption parts to schools in developing counties. Dealing with students, he noticed that many of them enjoyed Flash games, but most of those games were violent and generally devoid of any educational content.

Watson sought to find an educational Flash game that could be used for his compute project:

"I realized that the concept of Canabalt, itself containing a degree of violence and no real propensity towards education, could be slightly modified to have a large educational component: rather than just pressing the space bar to jump, the program could be modified with a few simple changes that would teach students concepts such as the double click and touch typing.

After contacting the developer (who was kind enough to modify his game per my request, even providing a large level of creative input himself), he produced Canabalt: Typing Tutor Edition. It removed the level of violence in the original, and added two new game modes.

After a demo at the Kasu basic school [in Ghana], I was amazed at how quickly students learned to play the game (and how close the students came to beating my high score after just fifteen minutes)."

You can read more about Watson's computer project on his website, Charles' Gap Year in Ghana. Canabalt: Typing Tutor Edition is available to play for free here.