The Flappy Bird craze isn’t quite over yet.
Code.org, a Seattle-based non-profit that encourages computer science education in the U.S., hopes the tutorial shows children — and anyone, for that matter — that the underlying code for a simple, addictive game like Flappy Bird can be put together in less than an hour.
Hadi Partovi, a longtime Seattle entrepreneur who co-founded Code.org with his brother, Ali, told us that the idea for the Flappy Bird tutorial came about during a Code.org employee happy hour. The entire group was playing Flappy Bird competitively when they realized they could not only play this fun game, but also let others create it.
Code.org already allowed people to learn computer science in bite-sized pieces with its original Hour of Code tutorials, but those didn’t allow kids to build a game or app they could show off.
“We already know that the chance to ‘make an app’ is something people aspire to, but they think it’s out of reach,” Partovi said. “We want to give kids something that lets them express a degree of creativeness.”
The Flappy Bird tutorial allows users make their own Flappy characters and write their own rules — for example, the “bird” can turn into a shark, Santa Claus or Superman, and can dodge lasers or turn into turkey roast after being zapped.
“There are endless possibilities and kids can try them and realize the creativity involved in computer science within just 20 minutes,” Partovi said.
Code.org, which was founded exactly one year ago, today celebrated the fact that more than 27 million people in 34 languages across 170 countries have written one billion lines of code with the Hour of Code tutorials and follow-up course, both of which were launched in December.
Partovi said he’s pleasantly surprised with that statistic.
“It’s kind of unheard of,” he noted.
Code.org plans to expand its online curriculum offerings to all grade levels from K-12. It also wants to continue pushing computer science into schools around the country, partner with more school districts and encourage legislators to change state policies to recognize computer science as a core academic offering. The organization already powers online courses for 700,000 students in 13,000 classrooms.