Sometimes solving difficult problems really comes down to being able to ask the right question in the right way. Once you've done that the answer emerges. These folks took a complex problem, protein folding, and made a video game of it. Then many game players were able to do what gamers do... optimize (usually for points of some sort). They were able to put together a better solution than the scientists have been able to so far.
It makes me think that if we could come up with a good problem to throw at something like the Mechanical Turk, where people compete to solve problems for money, maybe we could solve some really big problems.