Quantum mechanics is usually considered to be counter-intuitive for humans but, remarkably, video games, which correspond to quantum problems, show that we actually do very well. Jacob F Sherson and colleagues at the University of Aarhus in Denmark took a quantum-computer architecture using neutral atoms moved by lasers and turned it into a video game. Players visualise the wave function of a particle as a sloshy liquid and try to pick up an atom from a potential well, move it somewhere else, then bring it back as quickly as they can. Crowdsourced humans succeeded where numerical optimisation failed. Analysis of their moves allowed the team to develop a heuristic optimisation method that outperforms established numerical methods. It’s nice to have a human help a computer to calculate, for a change, rather than the other way around.