According to a story in The Sydney Morning Herald, a stay-at-home mother of four from south-west Sydney could make a fortune out of a simple Nintendo DS accessory she invented out of frustration.

Janene Samuel, 42, invented the Gametag after her young kids kept losing their Nintendo DS games, costing her close to $100 every time.

No matter how many times she told them to pack them away, the games were constantly scattered across the carpet and they were soon being hoovered up by the vacuum cleaner. All four of Samuel’s kids – aged between seven and 13 – have a Nintendo DS and the tiny game cartridges were easy to lose on family outings.

“Some people I’ve spoken to have lost seven or eight games – that’s a weekend away for a family, it’s almost a mortgage payment for some people lost in a child’s toy. It’s a huge expense,” she said in a phone interview.

Samuel fashioned her first Gametag prototype out of odds and ends she found in her cupboard around Christmas 2008, but it took her another year after patenting the invention to begin trying to commercialise it.

The deceptively simple product consists of a lanyard attached to a keyring that holds eight tags, which are stuck on to the game cartridges. They always remain connected to the handheld games console, even when playing and swapping between games.

Australia’s largest video game retailer, EBGames, believes in the invention and has ordered an initial lot of 1000 units, to be sold in its stores around the country. Samuel said she was in negotiations with other distributors and retailers and also hoped to sell the product internationally by the end of the year.

She is also selling the Gametags on her website for $20, and through her local Bankstown and Fairfield markets.

Photo by The Sydney Morning Herald.

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