While playing The Beast, the one thing that struck me most was how diverse the group of players (we called our group Cloudmakers, named after the character Evan Chan's boat) were, both in the places we lived, and in our areas of knowledge. It seemed, each time a new puzzle came out, a very different area of knowledge was utilized. With the group numbering over seven thousand strong (McGonigal, 115), no matter the topic, somebody had a clue, and was willing to explain it to the rest. Everyone worked together to identify the puzzle, where to find the knowledge to solve it, and the actual work behind solving it. Often, to not spoil the pleasure of working the puzzle out, someone would post what one needed to solve the puzzle (in one case, how an Enigma code machine worked), and then the actual answer separately. In this way, many players helped other players learn about a range of topics that included chemistry, Asian languages, the Enigma code, computer programming, forensic science, and base 64 encoding; and these were only a few of the topics. A player in the group coined the phrase 'collective detective' (Alex, "[Cloudmakers]") to describe what was occurring. This form of collaborative learning and problem solving might not be new, but it's definitely gaining in popularity.

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