Steven Johnson at boingboing remarks that old fashioned introductory board games send kids all the wrong messages.
Just as a thought experiment: Imagine what the manual for Super Mario would read like were it structured like Candy Land:
To explore Super Mario Galaxy, just hit the “action” button. At that point the game will randomly determine what action you have selected, and whether it was successful. When the action is over, hit the button again to see what’s next!
I couldn't agree more, but I can go one better.
Consider Chutes and Ladders: you spin and get randomly assigned to squares that are either good (e.g., ladders), bad (e.g., chutes) or neutral. Even worse, when you land on one of these squares there's a little picture telling you what action you took to get that consequence. About the only redeeming feature is that it associates illustrations of bad behavior with bad outcomes in the game, and vice versa.
It gets worse. Cheating in Chutes and Ladders entails either counting or adding incorrectly to get a desired outcome. There's no penalty in the game for this, so it actually encourages intentional math fibs.