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How have video game console speeds changed over time? In 1965 Gordon Moore, computer scientist and Intel co-founder, predicted that computer processor speeds would double every two years. Twelve years later the first modern video game console, the Atari 2600, was released.

In this lesson, students write exponential functions to model Moore's prediction and the observed growth rate, and they discuss potential consequences should video games eventually become indistinguishable from reality.

Students will

  • Write an exponential function to a model a verbal prediction for the growth of processor speeds.
  • Describe how processor speeds have actually changed using an exponential model.
  • Discuss the implications should video games become indistinguishable from reality.

Before you begin

Students need to be familiar with exponents. It's helpful if they know how to construct a basic exponential function, but they do not have to have this skill prior to the lesson.

Common Core Standards

Content Standards
Mathematical Practices