Lightning manipulation is often seen as a sort of super power. It lets its user manipulate electricity and use it in any means he or she feels fit. Said ligthning usually comes out of the person's hands at which point he can fire it, make it into a shape (like a lightning bolt that he can throw) or use it on objects. For example, a regular sword can be turned into a lightning sword when a person who can manipulate lightning is holding it as he conducts the lightning through the object.
Lightning manipulation can in fact be magic in which case it's usually used by a mage or wizard. It can also be a super hero's main super power (as seen in Infamous), in which case such power is usually obtained after an accident or an event of some sort.
Electricity control does not work on plastic objects and in some cases, makes contact woith water deadly.