Of course, symbolism is almost always acceptable as well. Many authors use, for example, objects of things that are thematically relevant to their books as the focal point of the cover.
This type of expositional world-building continues throughout the game, as you have the option to read very short articles, brief accounts of different characters, and emails, or (often listen to) other communications. Not dissimilar from the books and tomes your character can read in Skyrim (albeit, much shorter in word count). Much of this exposition is optional, but they help with immersion into the fictional world.
Thinking back, my first remembrance of playing a story-driven game was the old Space Quest series on PC… this was early ’90s.