Engineer Gaming is a chat message from a user named “engineer gaming” playing as the Engineer character in the 2007 video game Team Fortress 2 (TF2). The image inspired multiple musical parodies featuring a variety of songs.
On February 12th, 2020, Twitter user Buggy_Evans tweeted an edited screenshot of an Engineer player in TF2 with the username “engineer gaming” saying “engineer gaming” in the game’s message system. The tweet gained over 800 likes in nine months. The screenshot repeats the phrase “engineer gaming” in a similar fashion to phrase repetition memes like They Did Surgery On A Grape. A same-day repost of the screenshot on the subreddit r/ontheledgeandshit amassed over 2,600 upvotes before being archived.
Sans Gaming is a YouTuber whose numerous videos titled “Sans Gaming” helped to inspire the “X Gaming” snowclone. An example is a GIF uploaded to the website Tenor on July 9th, 2019 that shows an Obama object with the caption “Obama Gaming”.
Additionally, the Engineer became a minor meme in September 2019 following a viral Twitter exchange. One user with an Engineer profile picture replied how to another user’s tweet asserting that the Minecraft bee is trans and was subsequently blocked. A sentence-mixed video showing almost the same profile picture was uploaded to YouTube on May 5th, 2020 by anarch0possum. It garnered upwards of 170,000 views in six months.
From February to May 2020, the engineer gaming screenshot was reposted and referenced numerous times on TF2-related subreddits. On May 20th, YouTuber Bob uploaded a cursed image compilation titled “engineer gaming tf2” featuring the Engineer profile picture set to the song “Robot Rock” by Daft Punk (shown below, left). In five months, it amassed over 110,000 views. A similar video uploaded to YouTube on June 8th by mashi shows the original screenshot with the Engineer’s voice lines sentence mixed to say, “engineer gaming” (shown below, right). In four and a half months, the video accumulated more than 340,000 views. The engineer gaming meme continued to see use throughout the remainder of 2020.